Tag Archive | "clinical"

<div id="DPG" webReader="164"><p>You probably associate calorie burning with training, but you burn calories 24/7, even while you sleep. Granted, the gym is your most intense burst of calorie expenditure, but we're talking one hour of training versus 23 hours of non-training. You can benefit from a much smarter approach to burning more during the other 96 percent of your day.</p><p>The calories burned outside the gym matter just as much for health benefits and long-term weight maintenance as the calories burned within the gym walls. Even frequent exercisers are often quite sedentary when not training. Additionally, studies show that people grossly overestimate the amount of calories burned from their workout.</p><p>We live on a 24-hour clock. Each hour affords you an opportunity to burn fat; that gives you all the more reason to incorporate small bouts of activity and, of course, the following five calorie-burning strategies into your daily routine!</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c11">1 Swap Your Morning Bowl Of Oatmeal For An Omelette</h3>
</p><p>When you swap your bowl of oatmeal for a 3-egg omelette with vegetables (spinach and bell peppers, anyone?), you do your taste buds a favor. You also affect the way your body metabolizes the food constituents. Thanks to a little something called the thermic effect of food, the different macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) each require varying amounts of energy expenditure from the body to metabolize.</p><img class="c12" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/burn-calories-round-the-clock-1.jpg" width="560" height="381" border="0"/><p>The metabolic pathway for protein digestion is rather complex, and as a result, the body spends slightly more calories metabolizing, say, a bolus of chicken than a chunk of sweet potato. In this case, the protein from eggs has a higher thermic effect—which could boost your calorie burn by an additional 40-50 calories.</p><p>So the next time you wake up in the morning, hankering for some grub, pass on the oats and say yes to a heaping pile of eggs and vegetables. With improved satiety levels, this small change to your breakfast could even make waves in your dietary choices throughout the day.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c11">2 Move Throughout the Work Day</h3>
</p><p>Look around your office. Chances are you see your co-workers hunched over, eyes glued to the monitor, scarfing down their lunch at their desk. While this habit is common, it shouldn't be typical. Take back your precious lunchtime and repurpose it for the good of calorie-burning!</p><p>I'm not asking you to do anything drastic like run a couple miles (although you very well could), but your lunch time could be better served as "you" time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office. Forty-five minutes of light walking will take off 200-300 calories. What's more, you'll feel more focused and refreshed by the time you return to your desk.</p><img class="c13" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/burn-calories-round-the-clock-2.jpg" width="560" height="375" border="0"/><p>"Lunch time could be better served as 'you' time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office."</p><p>Maybe you want to dedicate lunch hour to, you know, eating lunch. There's no rule that your walk must occur during lunch time. So grab your co-workers at any time and push for a quick stroll around the office building. Any excuse to get up and move, such as walking to speak to a co-worker, getting a glass of water from the break room, or going to use the photocopier, will also prove beneficial to your long-term health and help increase the total daily calories burned. Think of it this way: If you burn 20-25 calories for merely five minutes of movement, you can accumulate up to a net calorie burn of 160-200 calories over an 8-hour work day.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c11">3 Stand While You Work</h3>
</p><img class="float-right c14" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/burn-calories-round-the-clock-3.jpg" width="280" height="300" border="0"/><p>"Sitting doesn't burn nearly as many calories as standing does."</p><p>Modern society has created an entire culture that revolves around sitting: sitting at your desk eight hours per day, sitting in the car for your commute, sitting at home on the couch, sitting at the dinner table, sitting in the Jacuzzi &mdashyou get the picture.</p><p>Sitting doesn't burn nearly as many calories as standing does. Then there's the research on too much sitting. It shows a negative correlation with weakened gluteal (butt) muscles, which have been linked to poor hip function and chronic low-back pain. According to a study published by the "American College of Sports Medicine," this extended sitting may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality from various health-degrading causes.</p><p>The next time you talk on the phone or pore over stacks of paper at your desk, do it while standing rather than sitting on your rump. This simple change allows you to be more vivacious on the phone and more fidgety in general, thus allowing you to burn up to an additional 300 calories over the course of a day.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c11">4 Take the Stairs</h3>
</p><p>The prospect of climbing several flights of stairs can be daunting, but it's a great way to burn more calories. If you're fortunate enough to work in a multi-story building, climbing stairs should be a simple and effective addition to your daily routine. If not, always opt to take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever you can.</p><p>You'll burn anywhere between 4 and 7 calories per flight of stairs you take, depending on their length and your body weight. You can even make it more difficult by getting lower, pretending to do step-ups, and come up slowly to make sure your glutes are firing.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c11">5 Drink More Green Tea</h3>
</p><p>The health benefits of green tea are well documented. In addition to kicking your metabolism awake, green tea contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that can bolster the fight against cellular damage. Some cellular damage is necessary, of course, but rampant cell destruction is a bad thing and, in the worst cases, may even promote to cancer growth.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/burn-calories-round-the-clock-4.jpg" width="560" height="419" border="0"/><p>"Consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body."</p><p>Rather than downing another cup of coffee or an energy drink, go for the green tea bags. You'll probably have fewer people to fend off in the break room. The green tea will still provide a modest dose of caffeine for those morning pick-me-ups; the caffeine content of green tea rivals that of a 6 oz. cup of coffee, and gives a nice metabolic boost.</p><p>A study published in the "American Society for Clinical Nutrition" shows that consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body. What this means for you is more efficient fat burning and a higher metabolism for the rest of the day. All you have to do is raise that cup to your lips!</p><p>As you can see, it's possible to raise your non-workout calorie burning without dramatically disrupting your daily habits. Noticeable change can come from small, yet consistent changes. All these little tweaks to your daily routine and diet will pile on quickly to ignite a sizeable calorie inferno and advance the achievement of your weight-loss goals.</p><h3 class="article-title">REFERENCES</h3><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Chantre, P. et al. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 70, no. 6.</li>
<li>Church, T.S. et al. (2009). Sitting Time And Mortality From All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, And Cancer. American College Of Sports Medicine. Vol. 41, No. 5. Pp. 998-1005.</li>
</ol><br class="c16"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="40.009569378"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.54088050314"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm">Shannon Clark</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm"><img src="images/2013/writer-shannon-clark-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sclark.htm#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

You probably associate calorie burning with training, but you burn calories 24/7, even while you sleep. Granted, the gym is your most intense burst of calorie expenditure, but we’re talking one hour of training versus 23 hours of non-training. You can benefit from a much smarter approach to burning more during the other 96 percent of your day.

The calories burned outside the gym matter just as much for health benefits and long-term weight maintenance as the calories burned within the gym walls. Even frequent exercisers are often quite sedentary when not training. Additionally, studies show that people grossly overestimate the amount of calories burned from their workout.

We live on a 24-hour clock. Each hour affords you an opportunity to burn fat; that gives you all the more reason to incorporate small bouts of activity and, of course, the following five calorie-burning strategies into your daily routine!

1 Swap Your Morning Bowl Of Oatmeal For An Omelette

When you swap your bowl of oatmeal for a 3-egg omelette with vegetables (spinach and bell peppers, anyone?), you do your taste buds a favor. You also affect the way your body metabolizes the food constituents. Thanks to a little something called the thermic effect of food, the different macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) each require varying amounts of energy expenditure from the body to metabolize.

The metabolic pathway for protein digestion is rather complex, and as a result, the body spends slightly more calories metabolizing, say, a bolus of chicken than a chunk of sweet potato. In this case, the protein from eggs has a higher thermic effect—which could boost your calorie burn by an additional 40-50 calories.

So the next time you wake up in the morning, hankering for some grub, pass on the oats and say yes to a heaping pile of eggs and vegetables. With improved satiety levels, this small change to your breakfast could even make waves in your dietary choices throughout the day.

2 Move Throughout the Work Day

Look around your office. Chances are you see your co-workers hunched over, eyes glued to the monitor, scarfing down their lunch at their desk. While this habit is common, it shouldn’t be typical. Take back your precious lunchtime and repurpose it for the good of calorie-burning!

I’m not asking you to do anything drastic like run a couple miles (although you very well could), but your lunch time could be better served as “you” time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office. Forty-five minutes of light walking will take off 200-300 calories. What’s more, you’ll feel more focused and refreshed by the time you return to your desk.

“Lunch time could be better served as ‘you’ time, as a time to de-stress, and as time for a quick jaunt around the office.”

Maybe you want to dedicate lunch hour to, you know, eating lunch. There’s no rule that your walk must occur during lunch time. So grab your co-workers at any time and push for a quick stroll around the office building. Any excuse to get up and move, such as walking to speak to a co-worker, getting a glass of water from the break room, or going to use the photocopier, will also prove beneficial to your long-term health and help increase the total daily calories burned. Think of it this way: If you burn 20-25 calories for merely five minutes of movement, you can accumulate up to a net calorie burn of 160-200 calories over an 8-hour work day.

3 Stand While You Work

“Sitting doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as standing does.”

Modern society has created an entire culture that revolves around sitting: sitting at your desk eight hours per day, sitting in the car for your commute, sitting at home on the couch, sitting at the dinner table, sitting in the Jacuzzi &mdashyou get the picture.

Sitting doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as standing does. Then there’s the research on too much sitting. It shows a negative correlation with weakened gluteal (butt) muscles, which have been linked to poor hip function and chronic low-back pain. According to a study published by the “American College of Sports Medicine,” this extended sitting may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality from various health-degrading causes.

The next time you talk on the phone or pore over stacks of paper at your desk, do it while standing rather than sitting on your rump. This simple change allows you to be more vivacious on the phone and more fidgety in general, thus allowing you to burn up to an additional 300 calories over the course of a day.

4 Take the Stairs

The prospect of climbing several flights of stairs can be daunting, but it’s a great way to burn more calories. If you’re fortunate enough to work in a multi-story building, climbing stairs should be a simple and effective addition to your daily routine. If not, always opt to take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever you can.

You’ll burn anywhere between 4 and 7 calories per flight of stairs you take, depending on their length and your body weight. You can even make it more difficult by getting lower, pretending to do step-ups, and come up slowly to make sure your glutes are firing.

5 Drink More Green Tea

The health benefits of green tea are well documented. In addition to kicking your metabolism awake, green tea contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that can bolster the fight against cellular damage. Some cellular damage is necessary, of course, but rampant cell destruction is a bad thing and, in the worst cases, may even promote to cancer growth.

“Consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body.”

Rather than downing another cup of coffee or an energy drink, go for the green tea bags. You’ll probably have fewer people to fend off in the break room. The green tea will still provide a modest dose of caffeine for those morning pick-me-ups; the caffeine content of green tea rivals that of a 6 oz. cup of coffee, and gives a nice metabolic boost.

A study published in the “American Society for Clinical Nutrition” shows that consuming green tea slightly lifts the overall 24-hour energy expenditure and increases rates of fat oxidation throughout the body. What this means for you is more efficient fat burning and a higher metabolism for the rest of the day. All you have to do is raise that cup to your lips!

As you can see, it’s possible to raise your non-workout calorie burning without dramatically disrupting your daily habits. Noticeable change can come from small, yet consistent changes. All these little tweaks to your daily routine and diet will pile on quickly to ignite a sizeable calorie inferno and advance the achievement of your weight-loss goals.

REFERENCES

  1. Chantre, P. et al. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 70, no. 6.
  2. Church, T.S. et al. (2009). Sitting Time And Mortality From All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, And Cancer. American College Of Sports Medicine. Vol. 41, No. 5. Pp. 998-1005.


About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

Read More:

5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight lossComments Off on 5 Sneaky Ways To Burn Calories Outside The Gym

<div id="DPG" webReader="276.53321765"><p>If you take your health seriously (and you must since you're reading this), then you likely already know which foods to eat and which to avoid (hint: any processed foods). Even though you're armed with this knowledge, you might still be shortchanging yourself on some real health benefits hidden in the foods you eat.</p><p>To unlock the complete nutritional potential of your food, remember that vegetables, fruits, and the other whole foods we eat are also living organisms. As such, they have their own self-defense biomechanisms to protect them from predation. It just so happens that the byproduct of these biological machineries—things like trace elements, carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and phytochemicals—can protect us from health problems, too.</p><p>Our bodies are smart like that. Throughout history, humans have uncovered a host of medicinal benefits and compounds within our food. It's time to think about maximizing the full nutritional potential of these same foods. While you think you've got something as simple as a potato all figured out, some lessons about spuds may still surprise you.</p><h3 class="article-title">Hack No. 1: </h3><p>Garlic offers tremendous health benefits, but many people shoot themselves in the foot by the way they cook with it. People tend to chop garlic and immediately toss it into a heat source. There's no doubt the added garlic adds an incomparable depth of flavor; unfortunately, the rush to the skillet kills garlic's primary health benefits.</p><img src="images/2014/7-nutrition-hacks-1.jpg" width="276" height="233" border="0" class="right-image"/><p>Once you chop the garlic, keep it away from heat and let it sit for 8-10 minutes before you cook with it.</p><p>Garlic contains a protein element called alliin and a heat-sensitive enzyme called alliinase. Only when you slice or puncture garlic's thin membrane do alliin and alliinase synthesize into the <a href="http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/53/5/832.long" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">antimicrobial and cancer-fighting compound allicin</a>, which may have the ability to fight cancer and heart-related conditions.</p><p>Garlic sounds amazing so far, but here's the rub: A group of clever food chemists pointed out that applying heat immediately after cutting garlic destroys the alliinase—that same enzyme required for forming the most valuable component of garlic. By that point, a majority of its healing properties literally go up in flames.</p><p>The good news is that you can still cook garlic and reap its rewards (and tastiness) simply by letting the cut-up garlic rest a bit. That's it. Once you chop the garlic, keep it away from heat and let it sit for 8-10 minutes before you cook with it. This brief waiting period allows the allicin to fully come together. It'll stay intact even through later cooking.</p><p>Alternatively, you could eat your garlic raw—but then you'd be repelling more than just vampires. Your mate, friends, and coworkers might steer clear, too.</p><h3 class="article-title">Hack No. 2: </h3><p>The skin is its biggest nutritional asset of many fruits and vegetables. Far too often, people will discard the top layer, thinking it's dirty and gross, but they end up throwing away many helpful nutrients in the process.</p><img src="images/2014/7-nutrition-hacks-2.jpg" width="293" height="244" border="0" class="right-image c11"/><p>The solution to getting around excess amounts of pesticides and still being able to enjoy produce in its entirety is to buy organic versions.</p><p>The outer layer functions as a defense against hazardous elements like mold, grazing predators, insects, fungi, and ultraviolet rays. This protective effect builds a higher concentration of nutrients—like antioxidants and —within the skin and the tissue below it.</p><p>Think of how your calluses form in response to repeated chafing. By eating the produce skins, you take in all the nutrients a vegetable or fruit has to offer.</p><p>"But, won't I ingest a bunch of pesticides?" you ask. Current agricultural practices make this a legit concern, but it just means you have to be extra careful.</p><p>Despite your rigorous scrubbing and washing, nasty chemicals can still penetrate deep into the produce's inner tissue and then enter your body.</p><p>The solution to getting around excess amounts of pesticides and still being able to enjoy produce in its entirety is to buy organic versions of produce listed under the "<a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">dirty dozen</a>," which tend to be the most contaminated.</p><h3 class="article-title">Hack No. 3: </h3><p>The fast-digesting starches in a typical modern-day spud actually spike your blood sugar about as high and as quickly as eating sugar with a spoon. This is especially true of the standard supermarket varietals like the white-fleshed Russet or Idaho potato.</p><p>Although our bodies are designed to manage the rapid rise of blood glucose from high glycemic foods with a hormone called insulin, consuming copious amounts of sugary foods on a regular basis can lead to a condition called insulin resistance.</p><p>At that point, blood glucose can no longer be properly controlled without meds. The unfolding of this process usually leads to type 2 diabetes, which can lead to heart problems, kidney failure, and amputations if left untreated.</p><p>What is a tater-loving person to do?</p><img src="images/2014/7-nutrition-hacks-3.jpg" width="560" height="354"/><p>Simply cook the potato and then chill it in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours.</p><p>Simply cook the potato and then chill it in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. The cooler temperature lowers the glycemic index of the starches, which makes for 25 percent or so reduction in the resulting rise in blood glucose. Your pancreas will thank you, since it's responsible for releasing that ever-so-important-glucose-corralling insulin. Excess demands placed on the pancreas by repeated glucose spikes are thought to damage the organ over time.</p><p>From that point on, the chilled tater will keep its low glycemic rating for you to enjoy, free from worry. You could also slow down starch digestion by adding dietary fats to your potato (and really any other starch).</p><p>So ignore those judgmental head shakes, as a pat of grass-fed butter or even some bacon bits won't necessarily turn that baked potato into a nutritional trainwreck.</p><h3 class="article-title">Hack No. 4: </h3><p>Adding fats to otherwise low-calorie vegetables may sound counterintuitive, since in some cases the act of eating vegetables is a way to avoid consuming excess fats. But you're not doing yourself any favors by skipping out on them.</p><p>Dark leafy greens—kale, swiss chard, and spinach—as well carrots and tomatoes, which have beta carotene (the precursor to vitamin A) and lycopene, respectively, are chock full of fat-soluble vitamins like <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/vita.html">A</a>, <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/vite.html">E</a>, and <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/vitk.html">K</a>. They need to partner up with dietary fats in order for our digestive systems to adequately absorb and utilize them for our body's benefit. Not including these fats is like bringing a hot date to the prom, but ditching him at the punch bowl for the rest of the night—no point.</p><img src="images/2014/7-nutrition-hacks-4.jpg" width="560" height="365"/><p>Dark leafy greens need to partner up with dietary fats in order for our digestive systems to adequately absorb and utilize them for our body's benefit.</p><p>This doesn't mean you should drown your vegetables in a vat of full-fat dressing or wads of butter to ensure nutritional benefits. A study in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" concluded that a minimum of 6 grams is needed for optimal absorption. That's about a small handful of nuts or a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.</p><p>Plus if you're already eating said vegetables with other food sources like a 6-ounce steak, you're already well on your way to fat-soluble vitamin paradise. Your best bet, though, might be to toss in slices of avocado, a tasty, fatty super-food.</p><h3 class="article-title">Hack No. 5: </h3><p>Boiled vegetables remain a staple among people on low-fat and bodybuilder diets. Boiled chicken and vegetables, anyone? Certainly, it's fast, convenient, and easy to clean up. But have you ever wondered why the cooking water turns green after the broccoli floats around for a while? Perhaps even sadder is that the water gets promptly dumped out without so much as a shrug, leaving nothing but a fibrous clump of less-nutritious green matter that can barely be called broccoli.</p><img src="images/2014/7-nutrition-hacks-5.jpg" width="560" height="420"/><p>If you want to take advantage of eating vegetables in the first place, consider sauteeing your vegetables with some grass-fed butter, or even steaming them.</p><p>It turns out that boiling vegetables is perhaps the fastest way to lose nutrients. Aside from being the quickest step toward absolutely tasteless food, boiling vegetables leaches all the valuable water-soluble nutrients into the cooking water. At that point, you should just drink the water in order to salvage the loose nutrients. (No, I'm not joking.)</p><p>If you want to take advantage of eating vegetables in the first place, consider sauteeing your vegetables with some grass-fed butter, or even steaming them. That way you avoid losing nutrients to the water bath and increase the nutrient bioavailability from the added fats (as I mentioned previously).</p><h3 class="article-title">Hack No. 6: </h3><p>For reasons that are as mysterious as the ingredients list of a Twinkie, slicing up carrots <em>after</em> they've been cooked provides more nutritional value than doing so <em>before</em> they've been cooked.</p><img src="images/2014/7-nutrition-hacks-6.jpg" width="186" height="294" border="0" class="right-image c14"/><p>For some, this can be a disappointing realization, since raw carrots are some of the most portable and convenient vegetables to snack on.</p><p>Surprisingly, cooking the carrot whole and then chopping it up works both as a nutritional <em>and</em> a flavor enhancement. Cooked carrots tend to taste more sweet, but more important, you retain approximately 25 percent more of a cancer-fighting compound called falcarinol, which protects the carrot from fungal diseases in nature.</p><p>Since carrots also contain beta carotene—the healthy stuff that makes them orange—you'll need to remember to eat them with some fats to absorb the nutrient.</p><h3 class="article-title">Hack No. 7: </h3><p>Nuts of all kinds are packed with protein, <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/omega-3-6-fatty-acids.html">omega-6 fatty acids</a>, and trace minerals, and are a fantastically filling and convenient snack. Unfortunately, nuts in their unaltered form also contain high amounts of "anti-nutrients," more specifically phytic acid, lectins, enzyme inhibitors, and in some cases, even mold.</p><p>Phytic acid and these anti-nutrients are not digestible in humans and wreak havoc in the body because they hungrily cling to minerals like <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/calcium.html">calcium</a>, <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/iron.html">iron</a>, <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/zinc.html">zinc</a>, and others. Consuming a large quantity of these nuts without first putting them through a process called sprouting could lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone density loss.</p><img src="images/2014/7-nutrition-hacks-7.jpg" width="254" height="200" border="0" class="right-image c15"/><p>Sprouting a nut essentially involves soaking it in water (salt water, or sometimes an acidic solution works, too) for a preset length of time. The exposure to wetness mimics something that occurs in nature when the nut releases enzymes to break down the anti-nutrients. What this ultimately means is that properly sprouted nuts have increased nutritional value for your body and make them more digestible.</p><p>The <a href="http://pacificfit.net/soak-time/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">soak time</a> depends on the type and quantity, and can range from a few hours to a full day.</p><h3 class="article-title">Start Hacking</h3><p>There's certainly no shortage of information on which foods enhance vitality, fight disease, and help to preserve quality of life. Yet I am willing to bet that you didn't know about one or more of the "nutritional hacks" I just mentioned. And there's no shame in that.</p><p>Centuries if not millennia of passed-down wisdom on how to cultivate, store, and prepare these foods set the foundation; it's up to you and me to help educate others on how they, too, can reap greater health benefits from their food.</p><p>You have any kitchen secret or nutritional hacks to share? Log in to BodySpace and join me in the comments below!</p><h5>References</h5><ol class="dpg-list"><li>Ankri, Serge, and David Mirelman. 1999. "Antimicrobial Properties of Allicin from Garlic" Microbes and Infection 2:125-29.</li>
<li>Song, Kun, and JA Milner. 2001 "The Influence of Heating on the Anticancer Properties of Garlic" Journal of Nutrition 131:1054S-57S.</li>
<li>Ek, Kai Lin et al. 2012. "Glycemic Effect of Potatoes." Food Chemistry 133:1230-40.</li>
<li>Hornero-Mendez et al. 2007. "Bioaccessibility of Carotenes from Carrots: Effects of Cooking and Addition of Oil." Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 8:407-12.</li>
<li>Brown, M. "Carotenoid Bioavailability is Higher from Salads Ingested with Full-fat than with Fat-reduced Salad Dressings as Measured with Electrochemical Detection." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2004; vol 80: pp 396-403.</li>
<li>Hurrel, Richard F. 2003. "Influence of Vegetable Protein Sources on Trace Element and Mineral Bioavailability." Journal of Nutrition 133:2973S-2977S.</li>
</ol><br class="c16"/></div>

7 Nutritional Hacks For Greater Health Benefits

If you take your health seriously (and you must since you’re reading this), then you likely already know which foods to eat and which to avoid (hint: any processed foods). Even though you’re armed with this knowledge, you might still be shortchanging yourself on some real health benefits hidden in the foods you eat.

To unlock the complete nutritional potential of your food, remember that vegetables, fruits, and the other whole foods we eat are also living organisms. As such, they have their own self-defense biomechanisms to protect them from predation. It just so happens that the byproduct of these biological machineries—things like trace elements, carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and phytochemicals—can protect us from health problems, too.

Our bodies are smart like that. Throughout history, humans have uncovered a host of medicinal benefits and compounds within our food. It’s time to think about maximizing the full nutritional potential of these same foods. While you think you’ve got something as simple as a potato all figured out, some lessons about spuds may still surprise you.

Hack No. 1:

Garlic offers tremendous health benefits, but many people shoot themselves in the foot by the way they cook with it. People tend to chop garlic and immediately toss it into a heat source. There’s no doubt the added garlic adds an incomparable depth of flavor; unfortunately, the rush to the skillet kills garlic’s primary health benefits.

Once you chop the garlic, keep it away from heat and let it sit for 8-10 minutes before you cook with it.

Garlic contains a protein element called alliin and a heat-sensitive enzyme called alliinase. Only when you slice or puncture garlic’s thin membrane do alliin and alliinase synthesize into the antimicrobial and cancer-fighting compound allicin, which may have the ability to fight cancer and heart-related conditions.

Garlic sounds amazing so far, but here’s the rub: A group of clever food chemists pointed out that applying heat immediately after cutting garlic destroys the alliinase—that same enzyme required for forming the most valuable component of garlic. By that point, a majority of its healing properties literally go up in flames.

The good news is that you can still cook garlic and reap its rewards (and tastiness) simply by letting the cut-up garlic rest a bit. That’s it. Once you chop the garlic, keep it away from heat and let it sit for 8-10 minutes before you cook with it. This brief waiting period allows the allicin to fully come together. It’ll stay intact even through later cooking.

Alternatively, you could eat your garlic raw—but then you’d be repelling more than just vampires. Your mate, friends, and coworkers might steer clear, too.

Hack No. 2:

The skin is its biggest nutritional asset of many fruits and vegetables. Far too often, people will discard the top layer, thinking it’s dirty and gross, but they end up throwing away many helpful nutrients in the process.

The solution to getting around excess amounts of pesticides and still being able to enjoy produce in its entirety is to buy organic versions.

The outer layer functions as a defense against hazardous elements like mold, grazing predators, insects, fungi, and ultraviolet rays. This protective effect builds a higher concentration of nutrients—like antioxidants and —within the skin and the tissue below it.

Think of how your calluses form in response to repeated chafing. By eating the produce skins, you take in all the nutrients a vegetable or fruit has to offer.

“But, won’t I ingest a bunch of pesticides?” you ask. Current agricultural practices make this a legit concern, but it just means you have to be extra careful.

Despite your rigorous scrubbing and washing, nasty chemicals can still penetrate deep into the produce’s inner tissue and then enter your body.

The solution to getting around excess amounts of pesticides and still being able to enjoy produce in its entirety is to buy organic versions of produce listed under the “dirty dozen,” which tend to be the most contaminated.

Hack No. 3:

The fast-digesting starches in a typical modern-day spud actually spike your blood sugar about as high and as quickly as eating sugar with a spoon. This is especially true of the standard supermarket varietals like the white-fleshed Russet or Idaho potato.

Although our bodies are designed to manage the rapid rise of blood glucose from high glycemic foods with a hormone called insulin, consuming copious amounts of sugary foods on a regular basis can lead to a condition called insulin resistance.

At that point, blood glucose can no longer be properly controlled without meds. The unfolding of this process usually leads to type 2 diabetes, which can lead to heart problems, kidney failure, and amputations if left untreated.

What is a tater-loving person to do?

Simply cook the potato and then chill it in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours.

Simply cook the potato and then chill it in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. The cooler temperature lowers the glycemic index of the starches, which makes for 25 percent or so reduction in the resulting rise in blood glucose. Your pancreas will thank you, since it’s responsible for releasing that ever-so-important-glucose-corralling insulin. Excess demands placed on the pancreas by repeated glucose spikes are thought to damage the organ over time.

From that point on, the chilled tater will keep its low glycemic rating for you to enjoy, free from worry. You could also slow down starch digestion by adding dietary fats to your potato (and really any other starch).

So ignore those judgmental head shakes, as a pat of grass-fed butter or even some bacon bits won’t necessarily turn that baked potato into a nutritional trainwreck.

Hack No. 4:

Adding fats to otherwise low-calorie vegetables may sound counterintuitive, since in some cases the act of eating vegetables is a way to avoid consuming excess fats. But you’re not doing yourself any favors by skipping out on them.

Dark leafy greens—kale, swiss chard, and spinach—as well carrots and tomatoes, which have beta carotene (the precursor to vitamin A) and lycopene, respectively, are chock full of fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, and K. They need to partner up with dietary fats in order for our digestive systems to adequately absorb and utilize them for our body’s benefit. Not including these fats is like bringing a hot date to the prom, but ditching him at the punch bowl for the rest of the night—no point.

Dark leafy greens need to partner up with dietary fats in order for our digestive systems to adequately absorb and utilize them for our body’s benefit.

This doesn’t mean you should drown your vegetables in a vat of full-fat dressing or wads of butter to ensure nutritional benefits. A study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” concluded that a minimum of 6 grams is needed for optimal absorption. That’s about a small handful of nuts or a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

Plus if you’re already eating said vegetables with other food sources like a 6-ounce steak, you’re already well on your way to fat-soluble vitamin paradise. Your best bet, though, might be to toss in slices of avocado, a tasty, fatty super-food.

Hack No. 5:

Boiled vegetables remain a staple among people on low-fat and bodybuilder diets. Boiled chicken and vegetables, anyone? Certainly, it’s fast, convenient, and easy to clean up. But have you ever wondered why the cooking water turns green after the broccoli floats around for a while? Perhaps even sadder is that the water gets promptly dumped out without so much as a shrug, leaving nothing but a fibrous clump of less-nutritious green matter that can barely be called broccoli.

If you want to take advantage of eating vegetables in the first place, consider sauteeing your vegetables with some grass-fed butter, or even steaming them.

It turns out that boiling vegetables is perhaps the fastest way to lose nutrients. Aside from being the quickest step toward absolutely tasteless food, boiling vegetables leaches all the valuable water-soluble nutrients into the cooking water. At that point, you should just drink the water in order to salvage the loose nutrients. (No, I’m not joking.)

If you want to take advantage of eating vegetables in the first place, consider sauteeing your vegetables with some grass-fed butter, or even steaming them. That way you avoid losing nutrients to the water bath and increase the nutrient bioavailability from the added fats (as I mentioned previously).

Hack No. 6:

For reasons that are as mysterious as the ingredients list of a Twinkie, slicing up carrots after they’ve been cooked provides more nutritional value than doing so before they’ve been cooked.

For some, this can be a disappointing realization, since raw carrots are some of the most portable and convenient vegetables to snack on.

Surprisingly, cooking the carrot whole and then chopping it up works both as a nutritional and a flavor enhancement. Cooked carrots tend to taste more sweet, but more important, you retain approximately 25 percent more of a cancer-fighting compound called falcarinol, which protects the carrot from fungal diseases in nature.

Since carrots also contain beta carotene—the healthy stuff that makes them orange—you’ll need to remember to eat them with some fats to absorb the nutrient.

Hack No. 7:

Nuts of all kinds are packed with protein, omega-6 fatty acids, and trace minerals, and are a fantastically filling and convenient snack. Unfortunately, nuts in their unaltered form also contain high amounts of “anti-nutrients,” more specifically phytic acid, lectins, enzyme inhibitors, and in some cases, even mold.

Phytic acid and these anti-nutrients are not digestible in humans and wreak havoc in the body because they hungrily cling to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and others. Consuming a large quantity of these nuts without first putting them through a process called sprouting could lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone density loss.

Sprouting a nut essentially involves soaking it in water (salt water, or sometimes an acidic solution works, too) for a preset length of time. The exposure to wetness mimics something that occurs in nature when the nut releases enzymes to break down the anti-nutrients. What this ultimately means is that properly sprouted nuts have increased nutritional value for your body and make them more digestible.

The soak time depends on the type and quantity, and can range from a few hours to a full day.

Start Hacking

There’s certainly no shortage of information on which foods enhance vitality, fight disease, and help to preserve quality of life. Yet I am willing to bet that you didn’t know about one or more of the “nutritional hacks” I just mentioned. And there’s no shame in that.

Centuries if not millennia of passed-down wisdom on how to cultivate, store, and prepare these foods set the foundation; it’s up to you and me to help educate others on how they, too, can reap greater health benefits from their food.

You have any kitchen secret or nutritional hacks to share? Log in to BodySpace and join me in the comments below!

References
  1. Ankri, Serge, and David Mirelman. 1999. “Antimicrobial Properties of Allicin from Garlic” Microbes and Infection 2:125-29.
  2. Song, Kun, and JA Milner. 2001 “The Influence of Heating on the Anticancer Properties of Garlic” Journal of Nutrition 131:1054S-57S.
  3. Ek, Kai Lin et al. 2012. “Glycemic Effect of Potatoes.” Food Chemistry 133:1230-40.
  4. Hornero-Mendez et al. 2007. “Bioaccessibility of Carotenes from Carrots: Effects of Cooking and Addition of Oil.” Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 8:407-12.
  5. Brown, M. “Carotenoid Bioavailability is Higher from Salads Ingested with Full-fat than with Fat-reduced Salad Dressings as Measured with Electrochemical Detection.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2004; vol 80: pp 396-403.
  6. Hurrel, Richard F. 2003. “Influence of Vegetable Protein Sources on Trace Element and Mineral Bioavailability.” Journal of Nutrition 133:2973S-2977S.


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7 Nutritional Hacks For Greater Health Benefits

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