Posts Tagged ‘cherries’

Foods for Body and Brain

August 28, 2013

It’s back to school time, and young people across the country are settling into a new routine. For many college students, that means a steady diet of fast food, and it’s not just the dreaded “freshman 15″ that should cause culinary concern. We have all heard the adage ” You are what you eat,” but did you know that certain foods can improve your studying ability, help you sleep better, and beat stress?

Our friends at The Best Colleges, have shared this great info graphic with us, to show you the power foods that help you be at your best.

The average college student eats fast food a whopping 6-8 times per week! These calorie bombs not only expand your waistline, but they decrease your concentration as well.

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Planning a day of cramming for a big test? Try these nutritional powerhouses to enhance your studying:

Fish has been shown to enhance your memory. Get your omega-3’s in fresh fish or fish oil supplements to increase reaction time by 20%.

Caffeine not only wakes you up, but also improves your mental acuity.

Eggs provide choline, which is nicknamed the memory vitamin.

Start your day with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and a hot cup of joe to get the most out of your study session.

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A good night’s sleep is key to performance. Cherries contain melatonin, which regulates sleep. Bananas are rich in tryptophan, which helps the body produce calming hormones. The magnesium in almonds also promotes muscle relaxation. Snack on cherries, bananas and nuts about an hour before bed to ensure a restful night.

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School can be stressful, and these stress busters will help you get through the difficult times. Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure and its caffeine content keeps you sharp for long study sessions. Avocado is just one of the fruits that help bolster your immune system, keeping you healthy throughout the school year. While eating garlic and onions is not the best recipe for a great social life, these antioxidant filled flavorings protect the immune system and increase blood flow. Add a little avocado to your salad or sandwich, as well as some garlic and onion rich foods like hummus, guacamole or salsa to stay healthy.

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The right nutrition can make a big difference in your health, as well as your grades. Fuel up properly to get the most out of your education.

info graphic courtesy of : the best collages.org

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Eat for Performance

July 25, 2013

If you work out hard, chances are you get sore. What you eat to fuel your workout is as important as the exercise routine itself. Here are a few healthy foods that aid in muscle recovery and help ease those aches.

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Cherries are in season, and you no longer need a mortgage to buy them! (They were $12.99 a pound in early June in New York City, down to $4.99 today!!!)

Studies have shown that tart cherry juice can help athletes recover more quickly from their workouts, due to anti-inflammatory properties that block the enzyme linked to muscle soreness. Enjoy these tiny red fruits as a post workout snack, but watch out for the pits!

Multicolored tomatoes

Tomatoes are also at their peak right now, and the Farmer’s Markets and grocery stores are filled with all kinds of ripe, delicious tomatoes in all sizes and hues.

A study has shown that athletes recovered faster when they drank tomato juice before and after their workouts, than when they fueled up with carbs. Tomatoes also have a high water content, and are filled with potassium, which helps replenish the electrolytes lost from sweating. It is also thought that the antioxidants in tomatoes soothe inflammation and hastens muscle recovery.

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Beets are another favorite, and they are full of natural nitrates that raise the nitric acid level in the body, improving blood flow. Studies were done using beet juice, but  eating beets can also be helpful.

Try adding roasted beets to your salad, tart cherries to your Greek yogurt and tomatoes to just about anything for better workout results.

photos: glasshouse images

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The Clean 15

June 5, 2012

We have written here about the “Dirty Dozen,” a list of produce that has the highest levels of pesticides and contamination. It is recommended that these foods be organic wherever possible.

There is another list called the “Clean 15”, which have the lowest pesticide load, and can be enjoyed in the conventional varieties.

These are:

Onions

Sweet corn

Pineapples

Avocado

Sweet peas

Mangoes

Eggplant

Cantaloupe

Kiwi

Watermelon

Sweet potatoes

Grapefruit

Mushrooms

Asparagus

Other foods, such as broccoli, cabbage and tomatoes have more recently tested cleaner as well, due to less pest threats, and therefore less spraying.

Many of these fruits and vegetables have a protective outer layer that gets peeled or removed before eating. This helps eliminate the toxins, which are largely on the outside of the food.

The current list of the most harmful foods tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals, and as many as 67. Buying organic insures that the fruit and vegetables are not treated with harmful pesticides.

Foods that should be organic:

Celery

Strawberries

Peaches

Apples

Blueberries

Nectarines

Sweet bell peppers

Spinach, kale and collard greens

Cherries

Potatoes

Grapes

Lettuce

This lists were compiled by the Environmental Working Group, which is an organization made up of scientists, researchers and policymakers. The data used was supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture’s tests for pesticide residue on fresh produce.

photos: Glasshouse Images

 


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