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Sunday, April 20, 2008
8 Superfoods that will help pack on muscle before and after the gym

IF MUSCLES WERE MADE FROM CHIPS AND BEER, we'd look huge. But they aren't, and we don't -- unless you count that sake o' fat up front and dead center. If not Doritos and double back, then what? we decided to delve deep into the human anatomy to find the secret spot on every muscle where the word "ingredients" is stamped. With the help of Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., an exercise and nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut, and a really big magnifying glass, we found it. eight foods are on the list: eggs, almonds, olive oil, salmon, steak, yogurt, water, and coffee. Add these ingredients to your stomach and faithfully follow the directions on the package -- "Lifet heavey weights" -- and you can whip up a batch of biceps in no time.

How they make muscle:
Not from being hurled by the dozen at your boss's house. The protein in eggs has the highest biological value - a measure of how well it supports your body's protein needs - of any food, including our beloved beef. "Calorie for calorie, you need less protein from eggs than you do from other sources to achieve the same muscle - building benefits", say Volek. But you have to eat the yolk. In addition to protein, it also contains vitamin B12, which is necessary for fat breakdown and muscle contraction. ( And no, eating a few eggs a day won't increase your risk of heart disease).
How they keep you healthy:
Eggs are vitamins and minerals over easy; they're packed with riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, B6, D, and E, and iron, phosphorus and zinc.

How they make muscle:
Crunch for crunch, almonds are one of the best sources of alphatocopherol vitamin E - the form that's best absorbed by yiur body. That matters to your muscles because "vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that can help prevent free - radical damage after heavy workouts," says Volek. And the fewer hits taken from free radicals, the faster your muscles will recover from a workout and start growing. How many almonds should should you munch? Two handfuls a day should o it. A Toronto University study found that men can eat this amount daily without gaining any weight.
How they keep you healthy:
Almonds double as brain insurance. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those men who consumed the most vitamin E - from food sources, not supplements - had a 67 percent lower risk of Alzheimer's disease than those eating the least vitamin E.

How it make muscle:
It's swimming high - quality protein and omega - 3 fatty acids. "Omega-3's can decrease muscle -protein breakdown after your workout, improving recovery", says Tom Incledon, R.D., a nutritionist with Human Performance specialist. This is important, because to build muscle you need to store new protein faster than your body breaks down the old stuff. Order some salmon jerky from www.freshseafood.com It''ll keep forever in your gym bag and tastes mighty close to cold-smoked cow.
How it keeps you healthy:
By reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Researchers at Louisiana state University found that when overweight people added 1.8 grams of DHA-an omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil to their daily diets, their insulin resistance decreased by 70 percent in 12 weeks.

How it makes muscle:
Even with the aura of estrogen surrounding it, "yogurt is an ideal combination of protein and carbohydrates for exercise recovery and muscle growth," says Dough Kalmon, R.D. Director of nutrition at Miami Research Associates. Buy regular - not sugar-free-- with fruit buried at the bottom. The extra carbohydrates from the fruit will boost your blood levels of insulin, one of the keys to reducing post exercise protein breakdown.
How it keeps you healthy:
Three letters:CLA. "Yogurt is one of the few foods that contain conjugated linoleic acid, a special type of fat shown in some studies to reduce body fat," says Volek.

How it makes muscle:
More than just a piece of charbroiled protein, "beef is also a major source of iron and zinc, two crucial muscle-building nutrients", says Incledon. Plus, it's the number-one food source of creatine-- your body's energy supply for pumping iron -- 2 grains for every 16 ounces.
For maximum muscle with minimum calories, look for "rounds" or "loins" - butcher speak for meat cuts that are extra-lean. Or check out the new "flat iron" cut. It's very lean and the second most tender cut of beef overall.
How it keeps you healthy:
Beef is a storehouse for selenium. Stanford University researchers found that men with low blood levels of the mineral are as much as five times more likely to develop prostrate cancer than those with normal levels.

How it makes muscle:
Sure, you could oil up your chest and arms and strike a pose, but it works better if you eat the stuff. "The monounsaturated fat in olive oil appears to acts as an anticatabolic nutrient", says Kalman. In other words, it prevents muscle breakdown by lowering levels of a sinister cellular protein called tumor necrosis factor-a
which is linked with muscle wasting and weakness (kind of like watching The View). And while all olive oil is high in monos, try to use the extra-virgin variety whenever possible; it has a higher level of free-radical-fighting vitamin E than the less chaste stuff.
How it keeps you healthy:
How doesn't it? Olive oil and monounsaturated fats have been associated with everything from lower rates of heart disease and colon cancer to a reduced risk of diabetes and osteoporosis.

How it makes muscle:
Whether it's in your shins or your shoulders, muscle is approximately 80 percent water. "Even a change of as little as 1 percent in body water can impair exercise performance and adversely affect recovery," says Volek. For example, a 1997 German study found that protein synthesis occurs at a higher rate in muscle cells that are will hydrated, compared with dehydrated cells. English translation: The more parched you are, the slower your body uses protein to build muscle. Not sure how dry you are? "Weigh yourself before and after each exercise session. Then drink 24 ounces of water for every pound lost," says Larry Kenney, Ph.D., a physiology researcher at Pennsylvania State University.
How it keeps you healthy:
Researchers at Loma Linda University found that men who drank five or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day were 54 percent less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack than those who drank two or fewer.

How it makes muscle:
Fueling your workout with caffeine will help you life longer. A recent study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that men who drank 2 1/2 cups of coffee a few hours before an exercise test were able to sprint 9 percent longer than when they didn't drink any. (It's believed the caffeine directly stimulate the muscle). And since printing and weight lifting are both anaerobic activities - exercises that don't require oxygen - a jolt of joe should help you pump out more reps. Skip it if you have a history of high blood pressure, though.
How it keeps you healthy:
By saving you from Michael J. Fox's fate. Harvard researchers found that coffee drinkers have a 30 percent lower risk of Parkinson disease than nondrinkers

(Source: MEN'S HEALTH by Adam Campbell www.menshealth.com)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:11 AM   0 comments
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Whether you use them for seasoning, sweetening or snacking, the foods you choose can function as health boosting agents. And some vital nutrients come in surprising packages! These six superfoods are packed with benefits - and flavor:

The coconut is an unusual fruit: It's rich, and the fat is mostly saturated. In the South Pacific, traditional diets use copious amounts of coconut oil, yet studies there have shown that people don't get heart disease. In the U.S., research to support the heart-healthy claim is still being conducted. But we do know that coconut flakes, coconut milk, and cream, and coconut oil contain lots of an antiviral, antibacterial fatty acid called lauric acid - one of the immune-boosters babies get from breast milk.
Mix a can of coconut milk with a pint of chicken stock and some grated ginger for a coconut chicken soup.

All beef is a great source of iron, B vitamins and zinc - three nutrients many Americans don't get enough of. About 50 years ago, we started to fatten cattle on grain instead of grass. But grass-fed beef has many virtues. According to Loren Cordain, a professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University, grass-fed beef resembles the wild game our ancestors ate. It contains less fat, less saturated fat, more CLA (an anti-cancer fat) and more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef.
Cooking Tip
Grass-fed beef is very lean.Use it found for spaghetti sauce, chili and meatloaf.

Almonds, cashews, macademia nuts and hazelnuts are all rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants. Walnuts are one of the best vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids that fight obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. Meanwhile, Brazil nuts are incredibly rich in the antioxidant selenium- essential for sperm health, says fertility expert Dr. Marc Goldstein of Cornell University.
Cooking Tip
Put nuts in a blender with a little olive oil, milk or water for fresh but butter.

Here's one superfood that's easy on the waistline and popular with kids. The bark of the cinnamon tress, native to Sri Lanka, turns out to have extraordinary health benefits. Various research conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, inhibits cancer cells and is anti-inflammatory.
Cooking Tip
Sprinkle it on French toast, oatmeal, hot buttered bread or a cup of hot chocolate. Cinnamon is great on sauteed bananas.

Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats (which reduce inflammation),phenols(cancer-fighting antioxidants), and vitamin E (which lowers the risk of heart disease, protects skin from damaging agents, and prevents nerve damage). Cold pressed, extra virgin oil contains more phenils, and its vitamin E is undamanged.
Cooking Tip
Gently saute vegetables in it, drizzle it on salads or use it in pesto.

If you have a sweet tooth, try these whole, natural sweeteners instead of sugar. Unfiltered, raw honey contains many phytonutrients and enzymes to aid digestion. Molasses is the nutritious byproduct from boiling sugarcane down to white sugar. Blackstrap molasses is from the third boiling boiling, which concentrates nutrients and, unsulfured, is a surprisingly good source of iron and many other minerals.
Cooking Tip
Unlike honey, which is best unheated, molasses already has been boiled, so there's no more reason not to cook with it. Think spicy baked goods like muffins and pumpkin pie.

(Source:PARADEMAG by: Nina Planck /visit PARADE.COM)


posted by infraternam meam @ 5:11 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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