What are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?

According to the U.S. Department of Health ".....regular physical activity substantially reduces the risk of coronary disease, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.....and helps to control weight, contributes to healthy bones, muscles and joints... reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression..." Need we go on? Cycling is also "low-impact" without the joint stress that you get from "ground-pounding" sports and activities. All good reasons to strap-in/clip-on and RYDE!

 

 

Superfood - Taken with a grain of salt

CaptainVegetab cap
What is a “superfood?” What makes it better than ordinary food? What is food, and what isn’t? As we watch the majority of our fellow Americans, especially children, struggle with obesity these questions become critical to our well-being individually, and as a society.

The problem is, most of us are moving farther away from the sources of our food. A lot of us don’t grow food or hunt game, and what we eat is increasingly processed. Due to our incredibly efficient food production methods, we are distanced from its origins in the world. We procure “food” from a store, where much of what we buy is sold to us in packages. We tend to judge many of these packages equally, when in truth they contain an array of food and “food-like” substances. We’re routinely feeding ourselves things that may be edible, but don’t adequately fuel our bodies for the rigors of life.

In Europe and Japan, the term “functional food” is used to describe foods that are beneficial for “one or more target functions in the body beyond adequate nutrition effects.”1 Functional foods are consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet, not as a concentrated supplement. The European Union considers the term “superfood” a suspect marketing ploy, and prohibits its use unless marketers’ claims are backed by scientific research.2
Experts caution against valuing a food based on its individual components. Despite high levels of one particular nutrient, there’s no telling how each person will metabolize the food as a whole. If our bodies can’t process an overabundance of one nutrient at a time, at best the majority of it will be wasted. At worst, overloading our bodies this way can be harmful.3

We all know where to find most of the healthiest foods in the supermarket. Many of them don’t come in packages, or their packages list very few ingredients. In fact, in many cases that’s exactly what they are: ingredients. Food we make for ourselves is healthier than most prepared food we can buy. It’s not a mystery; it just takes a little more initial effort to incorporate healthy choices into our daily routines.
Are the foods below really superfoods? Compared to a Twinkie? Yes. Compared to real food? Not really. This is what we’re supposed to be eating. As you learn to enjoy eating real food, food that supports your body’s systems and protects against illness and disease, you may begin to wonder why it took you so long to do something so good.

• Asparagus
• Avocados
• Bananas
• Beans and lentils
• Beets
• Berries: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries
• Bok choy
• Broccoli
• Brussels sprouts
• Carrots
• Cauliflower
• Cherries
• Chia seeds
• Dark chocolate
• Edamame*
• Eggs
• Figs
• Fish: cold water & low in mercury, like sardines, mackerel, herring and wild caught salmon
• Flax
• Garlic: gives your breath enough bite to raise the dead. Wah, wah, waaaaah.
• Honey
• Peppers: green, orange, red and hot varities
• Kale
• Kiwi
• Nuts & nut butters: almonds, walnuts, peanut butter without added sugar
• Oats: preferably steel cut
• Oranges
• Pumpkin
• Soy milk*
• Spinach
• Spirulina
• Sweet potatoes
• Swiss chard
• Tea
• Tofu*
• Tomatoes
• Turkey
• Wheat germ
• Winter squash
• Yogurt

*= consult a physician before consuming if you are at high risk for breast cancer

The above foods are definitely real, may be super, but are they safe? Every year, the Environmental Working Group compiles a ”Dirty Dozen” list of the produce most vulnerable to pesticides. All fruits and vegetables should be cleaned with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water, scrubbed and rinsed with water. For 2013, it’s worth the cost to buy these foods organically, or from a Certified Farmer’s Market:

• Apples
• Celery
• Strawberries
• Cherry Tomatoes
• Cucumbers
• Grapes
• Sweet Bell Peppers
• Nectarines – Imported
• Peaches
• Potatoes
• Hot Peppers
• Spinach

Wonder what could possibly be better than acai berry? If moderation is not your cup of anti-oxidant laden tea, then head over to Oprah’s website to find the next generation of superfoods to which we’ll all shortly be overexposed. I like my coffee black... my garlic? Not so sure.

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood
  2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6252390.stm
  3. http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/may/13/health.healthandwellbeing1
  4. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs
  5. http://www.oprah.com/food/Superfoods-Ingredients-and-Recipes-for-a-Healthy-Diet
  6. http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/eat-healthy-america-52-superfoods-25519
  7. http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/super-foods-44030408 - slide-1
  8. http://skinnyms.com/50-super-foods-the-ultimate-shopping-list/
  9. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
  10. http://www.oprah.com/food/Superfoods-List-2012-Sunchokes-Adzuki-Beans-Chia-Seed/1

  

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