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

Mark's Daily Apple

10 Jan

Smart Fuel: Parsnips

With a long narrow, knobby body and a tuft of green leaves, the parsnip could easily be confused for an anemic version of the carrot.

The missing link, if you will, is beta-carotene, the compound responsible for giving carrots their golden hue. But rest assured, parsnips have plenty of nutritional power. For example, the parsnip boasts a high volume of insoluble fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system as well as for regulating cholesterol and reducing blood sugar fluctuations. It is also a good source of potassium, which helps reduce the risk of kidney stones. The vegetable’s high folic acid content, meanwhile, can help reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and dementia and, for pregnant women, decrease the likelihood of birth defects. Rounding out parsnip’s nutritional power punch, its high vitamin C content has been associated with improved lung function—and even a reduction in asthma symptoms in children—and also gives skin a healthy glow.

Keep reading…

9 Jan

Spar of the Day: Taking on MSG

Now and then, we at MDA like to branch out from our usual shrinking violet positions and journey into the precarious territory of current controversy. Today we venture into the debate over a disputed additive/ingredient: MSG—flavor friend or fodder foe?

Let’s break it down.

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9 Jan

Color Me Healthy: 8 Easy Ways to Add More Color to Your Diet

If the fable is right and you are what you eat, then is it really any wonder that a plate filled with bland, sludgy stew will make you feel…uhhh…bland and sludgy yourself?

Instead, liven up your diet with vibrantly-hued foods, which generally tout more nutrients per pound than their paler counterparts. For example, iceberg lettuce is really nothing more than water with a small amount of fiber, whereas spinach, which boasts darker, richer green leaves, is an excellent source of iron and folate.

To ensure your meeting your quota of full-color foods, try these eight easy tricks to add more color into your daily diet.

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8 Jan

Tips for Sprint Training

Though I don’t believe that the road to health is paved with incessant high endurance exercise, it doesn’t mean that I “can” cardio entirely either. Just as humans didn’t evolve to eat frosted wheat squares for breakfast, I don’t think three hours on the treadmill (or the hill over yonder) would’ve made much sense to your forefathers and mothers of a different era.

Instead, let’s talk “caveman cardio,” those short bursts of maximum output that caught the dinner or protected the tribe. This kind of cardio—practicing brief spurts of high intensity power and speed—both uses the body the way it was meant to be used and sustains the physical potential required for these activities.

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8 Jan

Dieting Downfall: Fewer Americans Dieting, Study Finds

Just an illustration, people.Feel like you’re the only one on a diet these days? Turns out you might actually be right.

In a survey of 26,000 American adults conducted by the Port Washington, NY-based market research firm NPD Group Inc, it was found that only 29% of women and 19% of men are on a diet, compared to 35% and 23% of women and men, respectively, a decade ago.

What hadn’t changed, however, was adults’ desire to lose weight, which has held relatively steady since 2001 at about 60%.

Keep reading…

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