5 Tips to Feel Great Today:
1 – Eat something green at every meal. And by green we mean a vegetable. Limeade and green apple Jolly Ranchers do not count. Veggies fight cancer, help you lose weight, boost your brain, and just generally mean business.
2 – Eat something red, like a tomato. Tomatoes contain lycopene. This is great for your eyes, which are fresh now but often get blurry by day’s end, right? We humans may be endlessly fascinated by the latest office memo (sure), but fortunately, our eyes seem to know when to call it quits. Give them a little lycopene and lutein love, would ya? (Psst…cooked tomatoes are actually richer in lycopene than fresh tomatoes.)
3 – Jam out to some really sappy music you loved in high school. Not that anyone here ever does that, but we hear it’s great for stimulating endorphins and other feel-good brain compounds.
4 – Call a friend. See a movie. Take a walk around the block. Anything that gives you a little respite from a long work week. Remember that caring for your emotional health is a major part of beating stress and staying fit!
5 – Get some good fatty acids in that body! Pick from Smart Butter (yum!), avocados, nuts, fish, grass-fed meat, olive oil, or organic peanut butter.
NUTRIENT: Beta Glucans
WHAT IT DOES: For immune system support, beta glucans, a polyssacharide (sugar molecule) offer much potential. Similar to other immune-stimulating nutrients like echinacea and goldenseal, beta glucans, which are derived from yeast, barley, and oats, appear to boost white blood cell count and macrophage activation. Macrophages are literally irritated into action by beta glucan sugars! These processes are key components of healthy immune system activity.
STUDIES SHOW: Beta glucans appear to have immune stimulating properties. Several studies have shown that beta glucans may be able to activate macrophages, help to inhibit tumors, and reduce infection. Beta glucans are generally used for immune system support, although it has been theorized that beta glucans may also serve a role in cancer inhibition because of their stimulatory affects. Beta glucans are thought to work by stimulating white blood cell activity. In laboratory studies, beta glucans have also been shown to stimulate monocyte cytokines, compounds that fight cancer cells in tumors.
However, the most established evidence supports beta glucans’ use as an immune-boosting nutrient.
WHY WE LIKE IT: Beta glucans can be found here. We love them because of the promising immune-stimulating properties. Beta glucans may help reduce or fight infections in the body and improve the general strength of the immune system. Overall immune system health is vital to resisting serious health problems, and beta glucans offer tremendous potential for supporting the immune system.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
Howdy, pals! Here’s the latest from the world of health:
We have no comment, but if you’re interested in the stem-cell debate, here’s today’s best summary of the flare-up. Here’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s take.
In fact, wait…yes, it is definitely time for a Sherlock Award! Congratulations, Journal of Pediatrics!
We’re sort of hesitant to come right out against the flu shot. There are definitely folks who can benefit from the flu shot (e.g. tiny tots and seniors). And now that it doesn’t contain brain-bashing mercury, maybe it’s not so bad.
Still, we think it’s generally a good idea to find safer, more natural ways to boost your immunity during flu season that won’t make you sick (while a flu shot doesn’t give you the flu, it will give you a little bout of the sniffles for a few days). Really nutritious foods like veggies and good fats, plus a powerful antioxidant multi, can do a lot to ward off the flu. Also, exercise and quality sleep are key immune boosters.
Our only other beef with the flu shot is that it doesn’t always fight the right flu. If you’re traveling or in an area with multiple strains, you basically got a little cold for nothing, cuz you’re gettin’ the flu.
To be fair, here’s our favorite blogging doctor’s pro-flu-shot stance. Since tens of thousands of people still die from the flu (and not bird flu, people), he/she could be right, after all…discuss, Apples!
Just one more story on the increasing trend to boost brain health as you age. It’s important! We recommend eating fish like wild salmon to boost your brain health, since we can’t (hey, we’re bees).
What’s going on in your state? What do you do about health care? Do you think federal dollars should go towards helping people make better nutrition or exercise choices in addition to regular health care (or instead of)?
There will be a lot of debate about this issue in 2007. What’s your take, Apples? For starters, we’d like to see more real, accurate, up-to-date nutrition information. We’d also like for Uncle Sam to stop being a big pansy and stand up to food manufacturers and their sniveling little lobbyists. We’re also not fans of Labelman (snicker). What kind of inflamed, flabby, uninspiring nutrition superhero is this? This is the best our tax dollars can afford?
Smart Fuel, just in time for the weekend!
End the work week on a healthy note with some piping hot green tea. Green tea (and in fact, all tea) is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. These little nutritional buddies are great for your cardiovascular system and love your liver. The polyphenols in green tea – catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins – are not only fun to try and pronounce, they’re really potent free radical killers.
Here’s how to get the most from your tea:
- Steep for as long as possible. The longer you steep, the more you reap.
- Use loose-leaf tea if you can. If you use bagged tea, make sure the leaves get good and soaked. Be aggressive with your spoon. The tea won’t care.
- Avoid bottled green tea. Not only does it make a barrel of crude oil look affordable, but it’s not the best way to get antioxidants. Different companies have different steeping standards, and quality varies greatly. Plus, there’s usually sugar and other junk added in.
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