Food (and other stuff) for Thought

A few quick Wellness Facts-n-Tips for your Wednesday!

  • According to the Journal of Functional Foods, a small study showed that people who ate yogurt containing the probiotic strains L. amylovorus or L. fermentum for 6 weeks felt more energy and lost weight.
  • Dandelion greens are high in beta carotene, Vitamin E, calcium, potassium, B Vitamins, and zinc.  Considered a “bitter,” dandelions support digestion and make an excellent kidney tonic.
  • After publicity about certain barefoot running cultures such as the Tarahumara in Mexico, exercise enthusiasts and runners everywhere embraced minimalist footwear for every athletic endeavor.  The theory was that adopting a footstrike as if one was running barefoot–that is, landing on the forefoot–was healthier.  However, more recent studies about the running patterns of those barefoot cultures have shown that their footstrike varied with their SPEED.  At slower speeds, the barefoot runners actually landed on the rear or middle part of the foot.  At faster speeds, they landed on the middle or front part.
  • Coconut oil has recently come into favor for its healthful properties.  But be aware that it is the VIRGIN coconut oil that has the good stuff, not the partially hydrogenated version found in some fast foods.  Virgin coconut oil contains beneficial medium-chain fatty acids and lauric acids.  It also has a higher smoke point (350 degrees) which makes it a good choice for sauteing and stir frying.
  • Even though they are both simple sugars, fructose and glucose are processed differently.  Glucose seems to signal a satiety message (‘I’m full!”) to the brain, while fructose does not.  In other words, fructose will not cause you to feel full but glucose will.

(Information taken from the April 2013 issue of the IDEA Fitness Journal.)