NUTRITION ARTICLES

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THE BONE HEALTHY DIET

Your recipe for building a strong and healthy frame

We’ve been so inundated with literature claiming the problem with rising rates of osteoporosis in the West is due to insufficient calcium −as though calcium was the sole component of strong bones. Advertisements to drink more milk, eat dairy products and chew on chocolate calcium tablets abound; yet brittle bones are still on the rise, especially in nations with the highest consumption of milk and dairy products.

In fact, studies like the famous Harvard Nurses’ Study indicate that drinking more milk may actually increase your rate of hip fracture. What scientists are now suggesting is that there are many other synergistic factors important to bone health, and that focusing on just one of those elements can be detrimental. Remember, bones are made up of 65% calcium phosphate salts, giving bones their strength and 35% collagen matrix, giving them their flexibility.

Think of calcium as the cement that gives bones their strength and solidity. Think of the collagen as the rebar giving the bones their flexibility and resiliency. Without that healthy flexibility, the bones simply shatter. Because the regulation of bone metabolism requires so many processes involving various cofactors, your best bet is to consume a diet rich in magnesium, phosphorus, boron, copper, manganese, zinc; plus the vitamins C, D, K, B6 and folic acid. Make sure to eat sufficient amounts of protein for their collagen matrix. Include some healthy fats too for Vitamin D absorption and protection against bone-destroying free radicals.

Nutritious fats are also necessary for our bodies to efficiently convert Vitamin K1 into K2 in our intestinal tract. If you cut out quality fats from your diet, you are risking the malabsorption of several key elements involved in bone health. It is crucial that we intake all of these nutrients throughout the day. And what better way to do that than consuming a diet of nutrient dense whole foods.

So, what would a bone healthy diet look like? The best approach would involve eating lots of dark, leafy greens− high in many of the nutrients necessary for bone health. For instance, kale is loaded with Vitamin K, C and A, and is a good source of copper, calcium and B6. It’s also a host of other nutrients necessary for bodily functions.

You should also cook in stocks flavoured with kombu and bones (non-oily fish bones, chicken bones, veal and beef bones). Try adding a little bit of vinegar to the stock to help further release bone minerals.

According to current research, bones are the best source of Vitamin K2 −the K vitamin responsible for regulating bone protein synthesis. Maybe this is common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to point out the obvious.

Throw some beans into the mix to ensure a healthy dose of dietary fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates. The black bean, for example, is one of the best beans for its “resistant starch” content. That means a large portion of the starch in these beans makes its way to the large intestine undigested where it is available to the healthy bacteria that reside in that area, encouraging their proliferation. A healthy digestive tract means more nutrient absorption and the timely release of toxins and waste from the body.  Of course, you can’t forget to add some quality animal protein to the stock. Nutrient rich organ meats- like liver- support good bone health by providing necessary protein and more Vitamin K2. You don’t need to consume a lot of animal meat, but a little bit goes a long way.

Also, healthy fats like butter from grass-fed cows, and cold-pressed olive and sesame oils ensure that there is enough fat in the diet for optimal absorption and metabolism of the fat-soluble vitamins.

Finally, don’t forget cheeses! They’re another great source of calcium and Vitamin K2, and also a delicious accompaniment to flavourful meals.

Michelle MacDonald

Feed Your Desires

Dinner can be more than just a prelude to sex: if you choose the right foods, it can actually be enhanced. Plan your fornication around these ingredients for hotter sex tonight.

George Costanza once had the stroke of genius to combine the two things he loved most into one opulent, erotic enterprise: sex and food. and though poking your head out from under the covers for a bite of a hoagie may not get everyone’s engine roaring, there are plenty of whole, healthy foods you can eat outside of bed to improve your activities in it — with the added bonus of no crumbs in the sheets. these cuisine choices will keep your libido running high and your energy up for legendary marathon sex sessions.

Garlic

If you’re worried those little blue pills may be in your future, try reaching for garlic instead. This Italian favourite will not only make your food taste delicious, but its special compound, allicin, will do wonders for your performance in the bedroom. Crushing a bulb into your salad can increase your circulation, boosting the flow of blood to your manhood (you know … where it matters) and keeping your erection harder, for longer periods of time. A British study also found that a garlic-rich diet could give your overall sex drive a little extra push, especially if you normally suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED).

Nutmeg

Add a sprinkle of this sexy spice to every one of your Starbucks orders. An Indian study on rats revealed that it can increase both sexual desire and sexual potency, while research on humans has also revealed that a dash or two of this warming spice can soothe your soul, raise your spirit, and have many of the same effects as the happy hormone serotonin, giving you a great bang for your buck!

HOT CHILLIES

Feeling “hot under the collar” takes on a whole new meaning when you add these spicy libido-boosters to your meals. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes you sweat when you bite into a chilli  — and the one that revs your metabolism — can be used as a sexual enhancer because it helps release adrenalin, which can in turn introduce endorphins into the bloodstream. The combination of the two can amplify your sex drive, and the increase in blood circulation to peripheral areas can help spark (and keep) an erection.

OATMEAL

Believe it or not, blood is your best friend when it comes to a truly sultry sexual encounter, so anything that will boost your flow or enlarge your blood vessels is an automatic win in our books. Cue the heart-healthy breakfast of sexperts. Not only will oatmeal lower your cholesterol, unclog your arteries, and increase your circulation, its generous dose of l-arginine will also make every erection bigger and better.

Red Wine

More than just lubrication to good conversation and an even better night, red wine can help enhance the physical and mental pathways that will have you both screaming for more. This darker vino can help up your testosterone levels by increasing the amount in your bloodstream, which could lead to hotter boot-knocking. But watch how much you drink: more than two glasses could leave your limp, not lusty.

Watermelon

Yes, it’s a summer fruit, but even the frozen variety can help boost your boner. Watermelon contains citrulline, which is a stimulating phytonutrient, that can increase levels of nitric oxide in the body for a greater below-the-belt pump. Plus, much like many of the other circulation-augmenting chow listed here, it can help push that ever-important blood to your member.

Almonds

Research has already found that this energy-inducing, blood-flow boosting, omega-3-filled superfood is great for your health, and now it looks like it’s good for your sex life, too. Not only will your improved blood flow and endless energy surely ramp-up your next rendez-vous, but science also suggests that upping your omega-3s can also increase your dopamine levels and regulate serotonin, provided that you limit your consumption of caffeine, sugars, and starches. Both neurotransmitters will leave you feeling happier, relaxed, and more sex-ready than ever before.

OYSTERS

Some people say they resemble the female anatomy — we’re inclined to say we’ll agree to disagree. But if you can get past the slippery texture of these sexy-meal staples, you’ll be rewarded with tons of zinc, which can enhance male and female libido by boosting testosterone. And if you’re ever looking to help repopulate the earth, slurp one of these half-shells down: they can increase virility, making your swimmers the sperm versions of Michael Phelps.

By Anna Redman and Rachel Debling

Double Green Smoothie

Pre-Workout Snacks

Tired of your a.m. fitness filling the rest of your day with yawns? Then it’s time to snag some extra carbohydrates to maximise your morning workout. Start your day with one of these goodies and you’ll be moving faster than Usain Bolt, leaving your low-carb peers in the dust!

Why You’ll Love It: “This smoothie packs a powerful punch,” says Rose Turchio, healthy eating specialist, Whole Foods Market. “The kale is loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C (which helps support the immune system), vitamin K (which builds strong bones), and it also contains a compound called indole-3-carbinol that helps detoxify the liver.” The spinach is nutrient-dense, filled with vitamin C, protein, and B vitamins to support the nervous system. “The dates are high in potassium, magnesium, and fibre, and the berries are high in antioxidants,” Turchio notes.

Ingredients

   1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened non-dairy beverage, such as almond, rice, or soy

   2 dried apricots or 4 pitted dates

   1 banana

   1 cup chopped kale leaves

   1 cup baby spinach leaves

   1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen berries

Directions

Combine non-dairy beverage, apricots, banana, kale, spinach, and berries in a blender and whirl until smooth.

SPECIAL DIETs

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Sodium, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wheat-Free

By Anna Redman

Recipes provided by Whole Foods MARKET

Photos by Arsenik Studios Inc.

Sunflower Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Pre-Workout Snacks

Why You’ll Love It: “Sunflower seeds are the most nutrient dense of all the nuts and seeds, and are high in vitamin E and B vitamins, too,” Turchio explains. The cherries contain sleep-promoting melatonin, and the cinnamon helps balance blood sugar levels. “The oats are also an excellent source of fibre and contain B vitamins, which can help with cholesterol levels,” she adds.

Ingredients

   1 cup rolled oats, either quick-cooking or old-fashioned

   1 cup whole-spelt or whole-wheat flour

   1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar

   1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt

   1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

   1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

   1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds

   1⁄4 cup dried cherries

   1⁄2 cup canola oil

   5 tablespoons orange juice, divided

   1⁄2 cup fruit-sweetened black cherry preserves

Directions

Preheat oven to 163°C. Combine oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, sunflower seeds, and cherries in a large bowl. Add oil and three tablespoons of orange juice, mixing well until all ingredients are fully combined. Reserve half a cup and press the rest into a lightly oiled 20- by 20-cm baking pan. Mix the remaining two tablespoons of orange juice with the cherry preserves and spread evenly over the oat mixture in the pan. Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over the top and press down lightly with fingers. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, then cut into bars or squares. Refrigerate in an airtight container.

SPECIAL DIETs

Dairy-Free, Low-Sodium, Vegan, Vegetarian

By Anna Redman

Recipes provided by Whole Foods MARKET

Photos by Arsenik Studios Inc.

THE FACTS ON FAT

HOW DIETARY FAT CAN ACTUALLY HELP YOU LOSE BODY FAT

FATS! Does it make sense that we eat fats to shed fat? Well, it’s true! The only reason fat used to be ill-regarded was for publicity purposes. Of course, we all ate it up; myself included. I used to stay away from fatty foods, yet I’d throw down artificial crap just to “save the fat.” No wonder I was getting anywhere! The truth is that fats have 6 major roles in the body.

1. Manufacturing and regulation of hormones

2. Formation of our brain and nervous system

3. Transportation of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K

4. They provide energy

5. They help form and structure our cell membranes

6. Supply the body with two essential fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6

The term “healthy fats” indicates fats that have been shown to improve overall health, with benefits related to blood cholesterol, blood vessels, inflammation, and metabolism. Here are my top six fat sources for a great physique that will keep your fatty acid profile balanced. Try adding all 6 throughout the day when possible:

1. Avocado

2. Beef and Salmon

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4. Mixed Nuts & Seeds

5. Organic Eggs

6. Virgin Coconut Oil

Note: if you are cooking with fats, use unrefined or virgin coconut oil and/or organic butter. These can both be used at high temperatures.

 

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

Essential nutrients are nutrients present in foods that we need to ingest for normal physiological functioning. Essential means these nutrients are “indispensable for healthy living.” Since the body does not have the capacity to make fatty acids itself, these nutrients need to be consumed in the foods we eat. There are two known Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s): Omega-3 and Omega-6. EFA’s serve a range of functions in the body. They are involved in the brain and nervous system, many organs, hormones and cell functions. Fish oil supplementation has been researched to show a decrease in fatigue, PMS symptoms, memory loss, along with cholesterol and triglycerides in people supplementing with them. Fish oils have also been shown to preserve lean muscle mass and reduce inflammation; increasing our range of motion and helping us train harder and recover quicker. If that’s not enough, fish oils have are even documented to improve blood flow and improve the body’s capability to transport and utilise oxygen. This will allow the body to work harder and with more intensity. As fitness fanatics, we need to ensure we are getting the benefits of EFA’s daily!

 

Combat Insulin with EFA’s

 

We have all heard of insulin, a.k.a. “the storage hormone.” Insulin is responsible for shuttling glucose into the muscle for growth, while shutting off fat storage after a workout. We are the most sensitive to insulin after a workout, thus, we eat carbohydrates post-workout to shuttle the nutrients into the muscle to promote recovery and lean muscle growth.

Fish oils have been documented to:

• Foster muscle growth

• Increase insulin sensitively

• Inhibit fat storage

• Lower cholesterol

• Prevent muscle breakdown

• Provide energy

• Reduce inflammation

Omega-3 has also been documented to reduce existing body fat deposits and also combat the storage of new fat. Say good-bye to cellulite!

Omega 3 food sources include:

• Fish (mackerel, herring, salmon, trout)

• Flax-seed

• Scallops

• Seaweed

• Soybeans

• Walnuts

 

To improve health and decrease the risk of chronic disease, be sure to balance out your fat intake with ample amounts of unsaturated fats and an even intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

 

By Flavia Del Monte

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