The Overlooked Seed…

Most of us are aware of the nutritional benefits of nuts. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. However, including seeds as part of our daily menu may be a missing health component as well as an option for those who have an intolerable reaction to nuts. Seeds can help with cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as fight off inflammation. They compliment breads and puddings especially with all the baking now going on. Chia- this little seed can swell to 3 times its size, is loaded with fiber and can substitute or stretch the need for eggs in a recipe. Flax- should always be consumed milled. Rich source of omega 3’s and aids in boosting nutritional absorption. Can be used for breading cutlets or just sprinkled over pasta and a salad. Pumpkin- are extremely high in protein and magnesium. Roasted they can be used as a replacement for croutons in salads. Sesame- these seeds are rich in Zinc which can boost immunity. Three teaspoons can provide a good supply of our daily iron requirement. Toasted they are great in stir fry. Check out tahini, which is crushed sesame, add to lemons for an interesting dressing. Sunflower- are also high in protein as well as Vit. E.  They can serve as a substitute for pine nuts in pesto or can replace peanut butter in its butter form. All of the above are extremely rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, a lacking component in the American diet.

Poppy Seeds

The poppy seed is native to Greece and the Orient. It is from the same plant in which opium is obtained. However, the poppy seed has no narcotic properties. It has been used for centuries as a food flavoring and for its oil. Some of the seed capsules have been discovered in Switzerland at prehistoric sites. They have a faint nut-like aroma which gives breads and cakes a distinct flavor. Poppy seeds are rich in omegs-3 fatty acids, about 50% of the seed, a fat that is a lacking component in the American diet. The seeds contain a degree of morphine which is present when they are harvested but is removed during processing. Like most seeds they have the extra added benefit of lowering LDL cholesterol. Poppy seeds are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and potassium to name a few. The Egyptians used the seeds as an aid to digestion and believed that because of its high zinc content it was a factor for proper growth and sperm production.

Some like it Brisk…

What exactly is meant by brisk walking? What is the pace that should be sustained? Some Respect brisk walkingsay it is that which is faster then a leisurely stroll. Some say that it requires that we increase our metabolic rate to three times that of sitting still. Other say that it should increase our heart rate to 70% of its maximum. The Centers for Disease Control recommend a pace in which you can talk but not sing. How are we able to figure this out? A study published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine put together the results of 38 previous studies that concentrated on the number of steps per minute, heart rates, respiration intensity, different ages and varying body mass indexes to try to come up with a number of steps per minute that would constitute brisk walking. What they came up with was 2.7 miles per hour or simply 100 steps per minute. How do we make this as simple as possible to figure out? Just count the number of steps you take in 6 seconds and multiply it by 10. Following this pace for 30 minutes should be enough for most people to maintain a healthy blood flow throughout their body.

Busy Brain/ Hungry Body…

Extreme mental focus such as preparing for an exam or just solving problems that require intense concentration can actually drain the brain. Since the brain has a limited capacity toPower Brain store fuel, the results can be similar to using stored energy from caloric expenditure through physical movement. This is the reason why college students not only eat poorly but also overeat. Scientists experimented with thirty eight college students. After 35 minutes of sitting quietly in a peaceful setting to establish a baseline for what they would normally consume, all were given as much pizza as they wished. After a few weeks they were called back and were all given intense college exams that required extreme mental focus. Afterwards, half were given pizza to consume and half were put on a treadmill. The group on the treadmill consumed less than they would normally consume while the other group consumed much more. The increased flow of fuel-rich blood to the brain brought on by intense exercise increased both the amount of blood sugar and lactate circulating in the blood. This in turn reduced the desire to overeat by feeding an exhausted brain.