Nutrition

Nutrition tidbits you should know about.

We tried it: What you need to know about Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss

Meet the latest “Super” drink that was used for its magical properties since Hippocrates back in 400BC.

Nowadays, everyone wants an instant weight loss miracle to lose weight really fast. Diet pills, (something) minute abs and the ever popular shake-weight are some of the industry’s “next big thing” trends, claiming of getting rid of visceral fat around the belly, arms and other locations in no time. All of these items are just hype and doesn’t do its justice for your health and fitness goals. However, a strong, healthy diet plan and the combination of strength training and cardio will. That being said, there are some superfoods that do help with shredding weight and provide other amazing benefits, but what about “super-drinks”?

You heard about the latest hype about Apple Cider Vinegar (fermented tonic from apples) because of the laundry list of proven benefits such as lowering blood sugar, clears skin, promotes heart health and much more, but how does Apple Cider Vinegar aid with weight loss? Given that vinegar lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, this alone makes sense of the drink’s aid in weight loss. In addition, several human studies conducted research of how Apple Cider Vinegar can increase satiety, making you eat fewer calories and eventually weight loss. Combine that with high-carb meals, a range of 200-270 decrease in caloric consumption will occur.

From experience, I brought Apple Cider Vinegar and drank it water for a few weeks and noticed toning around my body, especially love handles. This also was a result of a good healthy diet. Research has it that “acetic acid, the main component in vinegar, may interfere with the body’s ability to digest starch….interfering with the digestion of starch, less is broken down into calories in the bloodstream.”  This suggests that vinegar increases feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss.

In addition, the price to buy the product is relatively cheap (college students who needs a health boost, rejoice!) and readily available to purchase. It aids in digestion, soothe an upset stomach and reduce fevers, keeping your fitness goals on schedule. No wonder, Hippocrates (Father of Medicine) can vouch for the vinegar’s amazing health qualities.

Tips in purchasing the right Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Recommended Brand: We recommend Braggs because the vinegar is made from organic apples, in accordance with USDA guidelines, non-GMO and Kosher.
  • Store Brands: As long the label reads 5% acidity, which is mostly found in cooking and salad vinegars.

You’ll be able to identify the real vinegar by the spider web-like strands that tend to settle at the bottom of the bottle. Those strands are called mother (perhaps because mom’s home remedies are the best) and are made up of proteins and good bacteria. Apple Cider Vinegar has that cloudy appearance when shaken and it provides the natural nutrients to deem the vinegar the health-boosting magical health elixir it is.

Want to try out Apple Cider Vinegar?

This is one of home remedies to lose weight we borrowed:

Start with 1 tablespoon ACV mixed in 1 cup of water to get accustomed to the strong taste, suggests Benzel. Drizzle in ½ teaspoon of honey or maple syrup to sweeten the deal. You can also add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger powder. These warming spices can work wonders to get the digestive system moving.

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Benefits in hard-boiled eggs

Hard-Boiled-Egg-Cooks-Note

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day for numerous reasons, including increase in metabolism, prevention of binging (especially late night snacking), and positive moods and energy. This means choosing the right foods that will not leave you sluggish and lethargic such as bacon, baked goods (e.g. donuts and muffins) and fried foods. Eggs has a bad rap as being very unhealthy due to their high content in cholesterol since one egg contains over 200 mg, which is over 2/3 of the recommended daily intake of 300mg. Not to mention, cholesterol contributes to a lifetime of medication, early death and heart disease, right? Not necessarily. The truth is that cholesterol is a structural molecule that is an essential part of every single membrane and used in to make steroid hormones including testosterone, estrogen and cortisol.

Meaning, we wouldn’t be here with cholesterol. It’s important to keep in mind that liver produces large amounts of cholesterol and when we eat a lot of eggs (which has a lot of cholesterol), the liver produces less. You should also know that there are two types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. You want to increase your HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), the good cholesterol, which lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and others.  Unless you are vegan or vegetarian, still not convinced that you should eat more eggs? What if we told you that hard boiled eggs are one of the world’s most nutrient dense foods to consume? Hard boiled eggs has countless amount of nutrients, complete source of protein, aids in weight loss, can help with brain development and memory, protects your eyesight and of course, it is very affordable.

You can ditch eating that donut and buttered toast for breakfast since eggs can keep you feeling full for a longer duration, which is good for busy, on-the-go types. This article gives you a closer in-depth insight on the benefits of hard boiled eggs, so let’s take a look.
According to Authoritynutrition.com, a single large boiled egg contains:
• Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
• Folate: 5% of the RDA.
• Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA.
• Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA.
• Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA.
• Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA.
• Selenium: 22% of the RDA.
• Eggs also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.

Not to mention, a large egg has around 90 calories, 7-8 grams for protein (protein addicts, rejoice!) and less than 6-7 grams of fat.  Speaking of protein, eggs contain all the essential amino acids that humans need in addition of being loaded with high quality animal quality without much calories. Eating a good amount of protein aids in weight loss, increase muscle mass, bone mass optimization and lowering blood pressure. Need a little brain boost the next time you study for an exam? Choline is an essential nutrient in eggs which simulates brain development, function and has been linked to memory retention and mental alertness. Lastly, they say carrots are good for your eyes, so are eggs too! The antioxidants, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are crucial to eye health and can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Extremely easy to make and portable, make eggs your go to food for your health!

The truth about Carrageenan

Carrageenan

If you’ve ever purchase almond, soy, and/or coconut milk at your local grocery store, you may have noticed a common ingredient called Carrageenan on the carton. There is a lot of confusion recently on the news of this little known ingredient, so this article gives you the skinny about Carrageenan. According to Google, Carrageenan is: “a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.”

If Carrageenan is apparently made from natural plants such as seaweed, kelp and nori, then what is the hype about the ingredient? Carrageenan not only has NO nutritional value but it has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve and preserver the overall texture of ice cream, yogurt, creamers and other processed foods such as Nesquik Chocolate Milk. In addition, although the ingredient is derived from a natural source, Carrageenan is actually destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to the invasive pathogen, Salmonella.

This is known to have caused vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, cramps, headaches and much more. Even worse is that “carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” explains veteran Carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago. In other words, you are going to have an incredibly bad time with your stomach with intestinal irritation, colon ulcers and intestinal permeability. Not good.  The best thing one can do for their nutrition and their stomachs is to be on the lookout with food that contains this ingredient.

In addition, you can also sign the Carrageenan Petition to the FDA to stop this ingredient in your food supply. Lastly, for those who drink almond milk and other milk alternatives with Carrageenan, it has been highly recommended to make your own almond milk instead.

The benefits of coconut water

Endorsed by celebrities, fitness personals and commercials, coconut water has made a huge impact on the American food supply demands due to its health benefit claims. Coconut water is low in calories, fat, cholesterol free and has more potassium than four bananas, in addition of being super hydrating. From hangover fixes to ailments in kidney stones, is coconut water is just hype or the next big thing with all of its promises? Naturally refreshing clear liquid from the young green coconuts, coconut water has a sweet nutty taste and contains plenty of electrolytes. They are not to be confused with coconut milk, which are high in fat and derived from older coconuts.
Getting the right balance of electrolytes could replenish your energy, help lower your blood pressure and help rebuild lean muscle, for those who often work out. Compared to sugary drinks such as soda, sport drinks and fruit juices, coconut water have much less sugar and can be a better alternative for children.  As for the adults who consume alcohol, coconut water helps settle the stomach and replace essential when experiencing frequent vomiting and urination.  No one likes to wake up with nasty headaches.
“Unlike any other beverage on the market, coconut water contains five essential electrolytes that are present in the human body. These include: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. Because of its unique composition, coconut water can be enjoyed by individuals with varying medical conditions.” according to Lifehack. In addition, coconut oil has been featured in many hair and beauty products such as facial creams, lotions and shampoos. For those with facial imperfections such as acne and blemishes, coconut water has the ability to clear up and successively tone the skin. It can eliminate large amounts of oil in the skin and provides a good source of moisture, when consumed orally.

According to Dr. Oz, here are some great tips in choosing the right coconut water:

  1. Check labels to make sure there are no added sugars
  2. Choose plain, unflavored coconut water
  3. Make sure it has no more than 50 calories per serving
  4. Limit yourself to two servings a day
  5. Drink it in the morning for some extra energy or to rehydrate you after a long night’s sleep
  6. Drink it in the afternoon to get you out of a slump or after working out to replenish lost electrolytes
  7. Talk about a hype worthy to stick around for the long run.

coconut water

Five food additives to stop eating right now

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In order to keep up with up with the high supply and demand of food in America, food additives became part of our diet for almost a century. From adding color dyes to enhance appearance, preservatives to extend shelf life and additional chemicals to enhance taste, we have food readily available 24/7. Not to mention, our food processing, packaging and storage is relatively cheap, however we are actually paying a hefty price with our health on the line due to these additives. Some food additives are much worse than others; here is a quick list of top food additives to avoid:

Artificial Sweeteners-

Aspartame (Equal), Sucralose (Splenda) and Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low) are found in foods and beverages and labeled “sugar-free”, “diet” and “natural” because it’s made from sugar. You will find these sweeteners in diet/sugar free sodas, desserts, powered drinks, cereal and much more. Aspartame is actually neurotoxic and is believed to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and have more reports of adverse consequences than all food additives combined. This will erode intelligence and buffer short term memory. Other sweeteners, such as saccharin is made from petroleum. Ailments caused by artificial sweeteners include: “brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue, emotional disorders like depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures.” We recommend drinking water at least half your body weight in ounces.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)-

This is a highly refined artificial sweetener that is found in almost all processed foods. A cheaper form of glucose and chemically similar to sucrose (table sugar), HFCS packs on weight faster than any other ingredient, contributes immensely to diabetes, obesity, LDL (bad cholesterol) and other harmful effects. Even worse that “the case against HFCS ranges from claims that it inhibits leptin—the hormone responsible for telling your brain that you’re full—damages tissue and can contain toxic levels of mercury.

MSG-

Monosodium glutamate is a food additive with many names including maltodextrin, sodium caseinate, yeast extract, hydrolyzed/autolyzed vegetable protein and even citric acid. With over 40 forms of this addictive found in grocery stores, MSG tends to duck and cover its name in order to produce adverse effects, no matter what name it reads. Found in Chinese food, chips, seasonings (especially cheap), most Campbell soups products, ramen noodles, frozen dinners, packaged meats, cookies, and salad dressings, MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which overexcites cells to the point of severe damage or death. Regularly consuming MSG may result in adverse side effects including depression, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, and obesity.

BHA/BHT

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in potato chips, chewing gum, cereals, enriched rice, shortening and vegetable oils to keep them from expiring fast and changing color/taste. Although the FDA allows them, the Department of Health and Human Services warned that they are known as carcinogens. They are known to: “negatively impact sleep and appetite, and have been associated with liver and kidney damage, hair loss, behavioral problems, cancer, fetal abnormalities and growth retardation.”

Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite-

Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative for coloring, and flavoring in processed meats including ham, hot dogs, bacon, deli meats, corned beef and hamburger meat. The name might sound harmless, but sodium nitrate is very carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. From there, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds (potent cancer-causing cells associated with brain, esophageal, stomach, oral and bladder cancers) that enters the bloodstream and wreaks havoc to several internal organs including the liver and pancreas. This causes dizziness, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. History wise, sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient and the USDA did try to ban this additive in the 1970’s but food manufacturers vetoed it. Why? “Simple: this chemical just happens to turn meats bright red. It’s actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant.” Not to mention, there was no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. Talk about silent, but deadly.

Five Reasons Why The Banana Keeps the Doctor Away

 

banana 

Adding a banana or two has a great variety of benefits in your body. Besides being of the most widely available fruits in the world, bananas are high in potassium, alleviates your mood, and give you energy you can utilize immediately for a pre-workout. A 9 inch banana is about 105 calories, which sure beats 250 or more calories for a candy bar and often in similar pricings. So it’s best to stock up on bananas at your arsenal by your desk or shelf, especially if you are really busy. Here are some interesting facts about why bananas are amazing.

 

  • Eye Health-
    1. One Banana has a small amount of Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for protecting your eyes and retaining normal vision. Vitamin A includes both Beta and Alpha Carotene which preserve the membranes that surrounds your eyes. Daily Vitamin A intake improves night blindness and it’s crucial for everyday vision, keeping your eyes strong and healthy.
  • Fights Depression and Mood Swings
    1. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which converts to serotonin, known as the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. No wonder monkeys are quite happy.
  • Aid in Quitting Smoking
    1. It’s no fun that people do want to improve their health as smokers. Luckily, bananas have high levels of B-vitamins, potassium, and magnesium to speed up the effects of the nicotine withdrawal.
  • Reduces Morning Sickness
    1. Bananas, when eating in between meals, helps stabilize blood sugar and reduces nausea from morning sickness. You might want to have a banana by your side to make sure mornings can be less sickly.
  • Builds Strong Bones and aids in Weight Loss
    1. Bananas have a good amount of calcium, which aids in building strong bones and fiber, which aids in bowel movement. It also absorbs water and slows digestion which makes you feel full longer.

 

Sources: http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/25-powerful-reasons-to-eat-bananas

 

Top Healthy Foods from Jack’s 99 Store (NYC)

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Hi guys,

So one of the most important things I learned about fitness is nutrition. You can be doing all the dead-lifts, boxing classes, and push-ups in the world to prepare yourself for your future Tough Mudder race, but they say that 80% of the weight loss results comes from what you put in your body.  Imagine this kind of weight when you have a final exam worth your course grade. It can be nerve racking, but with the right foods, especially if its convenient and affordable for busy bodies and New Yorkers, little goes a long way. So what better way to test your luck in nutrition in finding cheap eats in the city. Here are my top choices for finding healthy stuff at Jack’s 99 cent store. Happy Findings.

1) Apple Cinnamon/Cranberry Granola Bars from Wholesome Goodness

Review: These guys are so delicious and chewy, you cant believe they investing alot of time in ensuring that these granola bars have nothing but the best ingredients while tasting super awesome. These whole grain bars are packed with Omega 6s, Kosher, Gluten Free, have no BS preservatives, and low in sodium. When I mean NO BS preservatives, see the packaging yourselves, the ingredients to these little angels are a godsend.

For more information: http://www.wholesome-goodness.com/better-foods

2) Alpina Greek Yogurts

Review: I am a sucker for Greek yogurts due to how much delicious protein I get per each cup. Not only you are getting more than 12g of protein (AVOID THE CANDY ONES, they dont carry as much benefits and the sugar content is too damn high) , but the ones with granola have less sugar than alot of of the other Greek Yogurt brands. My favorite brand of Greek Yogurt and those 3 for 1$ deals at Jack’s? Mercy!

For more information: http://www.alpinaus.com/product.php?categoryid=3

3) Tribe Hummus

Review:

Church-Choir

Sorry folks, Had to add the  church choir on here.  Recently got on the Hummus hype and became sold when I finally got the chance to try them. Tribe Hummus seem to work with me the most because of the variety of spices offered such as the Forty Spice and Spicy Red Pepper. Not to mention, when Jack’s  had these guys for a while, you best believe I bought as many to fit in my bag as possible.

For more information: http://www.tribehummus.com/about-tribe-hummus

 

Honorable Mentions:

1) Whole wheat bagels from Fiber One and Pepperidge Farms.

Review: Need I say more with all the Hummus you should buy?

2) Whole Wheat Crackers (Various Brands)

3) Dark Chocolate (Various Brands)

 

I must warn you, the one by Madison Square Garden WILL get packed with people, but if you are willing to deal with the lines, its all good. Happy Eats!