Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

3 Apr

Smart Fuel: Hot Peppers

Looking to add a little spice to your life? Then look no further than hot peppers! A favorite food of Hillary Clinton as she moves along the campaign trail (if an article in the New York Times is to be believed!) hot peppers are easy to find, relatively cheap, and can be teamed with just about anything! (And that wasn’t a tacit endorsement in case you were wondering. Just a bit of trivial trivia.)

But what makes this fiery little morsel smart fuel? Well, in addition to being low in calories and seriously high in taste, hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin that is thought to convey anti-inflammatory properties, relieve the pain associated with headaches and arthritis – which is why it’s a popular ingredient in over the counter analgesics – and may even reduce the risk of certain cancers (although admittedly, this is when capsaicin was injected directly into cells as opposed to eaten). However, it should be noted that in areas of South America, where consumption of capsaicin-laden foods is common, rates of intestinal, stomach, and colon cancer rates are considered far lower than that of the United States. In addition, a study published in a 2006 edition of the journal Cancer Research suggests that hot peppers – and capsaicin in particular – prompts human prostate cancer cell apoptosis (cell death) and may also inhibit prostate cancer cell proliferation. Further proof of their position as a smart fuel? Hot peppers contain several important nutrients, including beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and pack twice the amount of vitamin C, pound for pound, than most citrus fruits!

Keep reading…

2 Apr

15-Minute Workout

Maybe it’s a business trip, or a busy day that has managed to crowd into your traditional workout time. Let’s face it: there are dozens of everyday life circumstances that often get in the way of the perfect workout routine. But what can we do to keep these occasional challenges from becoming excuses to forgo a workout altogether? Sometimes flexibility (of a non-physical variety) is key. Enter the 15-minute workout.

A 15-minute workout routine should be easy to do, shouldn’t take much – if any – equipment, should be able to be performed just about anywhere, and should work the core as well as the upper and lower body. It’s a program you can do at home when you’re short on time, when you’re on the road and don’t have the time/opportunity to hit the gym or go for an outdoor workout – even when you’re in the hoosegow awaiting bail. Alternatively, you can also use it during a “normal” day to break things up.

Keep reading…

1 Apr

10 Ways to “Eat Green”

With the increasing cost of oil – and, as a result, the increasing cost of just about everything else – these days it is both environmentally and economically friendly to “eat green.”

Read on to discover how you can reduce your carbon footprint without compromising on food quality or choice…

Keep reading…

1 Apr

The Best of Mark’s Daily Apple: March 2008

Last month was all about reader participation with comments at an all-time high. Dear Mark: Cheap Meat really got going with an intelligent (though heated at times) debate between meat-eaters and vegetarians. Our Fast Food Indulgence post got some people up in arms about health and personal responsibility. And we got some kind words from you in our 1,000 Posts! post that were highly appreciated and very encouraging. Enjoy these posts and others in this month’s “Best Of” list!

My Knee is Killing Me… No Really. – Mar. 3

More Chronic Cardio Talk – Mar. 4

Fast Food Indulgence, Dirty Marketing Tricks and Personal Responsibility – Mar. 6

Diabetes is Now a Disorder of the Small Intestine? – Mar. 7

Dear Mark: Hardgainer – Mar. 10

Mystery Meat: Imitation Crab – Mar. 12

1 Meal vs. 3 Meals – Mar. 14

Keep reading…

31 Mar

Dear Mark: Saturated Fat

Dear Mark,

In one of last week’s Cheap Meat discussions, you said something about ratios and saturated fats and how saturated fats aren’t really the issue in your mind. I might have been missing something in the conversation. Can you fill me in?

The issue of ratios within animal fat was raised by reader Jaana as she shared Cordain’s discussion of the varying polyunsaturated fat content and corresponding omega ratios in muscle meat versus different organ meats. Cordain compares wild game (that we can assume are comparable to the meats our pre-agricultural ancestors ate) with the domestically raised livestock we eat today. As a general rule, the muscle meat of conventional livestock today has less polyunsaturated fat than wild game does. Conventional domestic meat also has more saturated fat than wild game.

Keep reading…

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