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

Mark's Daily Apple

30 Jan

Smart Fuel: Asparagus

Used for cooking and medicinal purposes for over 2,000 years, asparagus is one nutritious perennial garden plant! See, and you thought all it was good for was turning your pee green!

Among its many health benefits, asparagus logs off-the-charts levels of Vitamin K (more than 115% recommended daily allowance (RDA) per 1 cup serving!), which is important for heart health and calcium regulation. In addition, asparagus also boasts high levels of folate that, when combined with Vitamins B6 and B12 (as is the case in asparagus), can protect against heart disease and other cardiac ailments. Asparagus also contains a hefty dose of potassium, which combines with an amino acid called asparagines to cause a diuretic effect as well as a healthy type of carbohydrate called inulin that clears the intestinal tract of unhealthy bacteria and promotes good digestive health.

Keep reading…

29 Jan

A Sanitized World is a Healthier World?

It’s the season for scrubbing, soaping and sanitizing. After all, no one exactly enjoys getting stuck at home miserable with the latest cold or flu strain making its way through all humankind. But is this obsession with absolute cleanliness really the best way to keep ourselves healthy?

We certainly wouldn’t argue with the positives of basic sanitation, and we even agree that washing your hands at strategic points of the day (following restroom use, please) isn’t a bad idea. The fact remains, however, that we live in a sea of germs throughout the year. Viruses, bacteria are everywhere, and they’re generally supposed to be. The chain of life didn’t evolve in a bucket of Lysol.

Our obsession with sanitization, we would argue, is another classic example of self-imposed paradox. The fact is, frequent washing and use of sanitizers end up stripping our skin of healthy oils that actually serve as an external barrier and defense against pathogens. In the most brutal weeks of winter, people often find themselves with rough, even cracked skin, which then becomes an open sewer for every germ it encounters.

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29 Jan

NYC to Post Calorie Counts on Menus

Dining out in New York City just got a lot simpler with the passage of a law requiring fast food chains to display calorie counts on menu boards, Reuters reports.

Under the new regulation, which is slated to take effect March 31, restaurants that operate at least 15 separate outlets will be required to post nutrition information “in close proximity” to items on menus and menu boards in font sizes comparable to those used for the items’ names or prices.

City officials had previously proposed legislation that would have applied only to chain restaurants, but it was rejected by a U.S. district judge on the grounds that it violated existing federal food labeling laws.

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29 Jan

10 Things You Can Do Today to Feel Better Tomorrow

Rough day? Here’s 10 simple things you can do to unwind, recharge and give yourself a boost!

1. Laugh it Off:
According to experts, laughter really is the best medicine. Not in the mood for a giggle? Consider this: In several studies, laughing – even for a few minutes – can lower stress hormones, boost blood flow, shore up your immune system and even reduce allergy symptoms. Better yet? The effects of a hearty chuckle can last for up to an hour!

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28 Jan

Gotta Love That Genome

Cool news for your Monday – Researchers from Duke University have discovered a way to examine the entire genome and find the “unpackaged” centers that direct gene expression:

A new resource that identifies regions of the human genome that regulate gene expression may help scientists learn about and develop treatments for a number of human diseases, according to researchers at Duke’s Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP). … “Scientists have used similar methods to look at tiny portions of the genome in the past, but ours is the first technology to really allow researchers to look at the whole genome, so we can see all of the areas where gene regulation occurs,” said Terrence Furey, Ph.D., a researcher in the IGSP and co-senior investigator on this study. “Identifying these sites may help us understand the biological basis for gene regulation expression patterns in different cell types. We’ll also compare patterns within and across species, in response to external stimuli and in diseased tissues.”

via Science Daily

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