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

Mark's Daily Apple

13 Dec

Smart Fuel: Tarragon

Tarragon is for more than fish. This overlooked but deliciously sweet, rich herb offers major flavor and health benefits. Tarragon has a strong fragrance and a slight licorice taste, but it also has subtle earthy notes – it’s a bit fuller in flavor than basil, and not quite as sharp, either. You can interchange tarragon for basil in recipes for a slightly mellower, sweeter taste and a softer, more velvety texture. Is your mouth watering yet? Tarragon, a perennial, is easy to grow, too. It’s really only good fresh.

Tarragon is very low in calories, like most greens and herbs, and like purslane, contains some Omega-3’s. It has natural antimicrobial properties and contains generous amounts of many nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and trace minerals. The primary benefit of tarragon is the fiber, but we think the aromatherapeutic benefit is a close second!

Keep reading…

12 Dec

Best Winter Skin Tips

I don’t know about you, but I think that tight, itchy winter skin is the absolute worst. It gets brutally dry this time of year in Southern California (and the fires have certainly been too close for comfort). But even in cooler climates where there’s rain and snow, indoor heat will really dry your skin out – even triggering rashes and acne for some folks. Here are some quick tips to keep your skin healthy, supple, and comfortable during the winter:

1. Exfoliate. The first time my wife mentioned that I try this, I raised a skeptical eyebrow. But a good salt scrub with almond oil feels great (I’d recommend avoiding the fragrance- and chemical-loaded store scrubs). The salt sloughs off all that old, scaly stuff, and the oil locks in moisture. I like unscented, of course.

2. Moisturize. Okay, I’m not one to slather on lotion after a shower. Please! That’s why I like using oils instead. In winter, even oily skin can handle walnut, almond, or fruit oils. Plus it’s efficient since you dunk yourself while in the shower. Avoid those mineral oils – they’re petroleum based. Look for vegetable-based oils instead.

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12 Dec

Sugarholics

Harpoon posted this video of Jack Lalanne last month. I liked it so much I had to repost it here for Mark’s Daily Apple readers.

Jack’s challenge is as valid as ever. If you haven’t already, cut all refined sugars out of your diet and “you will be thanking (Jack) for the rest of your natural life.” He promises.

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11 Dec

Herbalicious: Rhodiola Rosea

I’ve reported the health benefits of rhodiola rosea before, but this recent study has brought it into the spotlight once again:

Flies that ate a diet rich with Rhodiola rosea, an herbal supplement long used for its purported stress-relief effects, lived on an average of 10 percent longer than fly groups that didn’t eat the herb.

Flies aren’t humans, granted, but rhodiola, also known as roseroot and golden root, has a long history of both anecdotal and clinical evidence that suggests it can help to improve mood and alleviate symptoms associated with depression, and that it may play a part in immune system support, improved concentration and alertness, and increased energy levels.

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11 Dec

10 Ways to Reduce Salt

I caught a recent article about the widespread concern over the massive amount of salt found in the Standard American Diet. Because the average American gets 90% of his or her calories from processed foods, and because processed foods are typically very high in salt (sodium), this is a health issue on an epidemic scale. In fact, 77% of our sodium intake is from processed foods.

Salt in moderation actually is health-promoting. It helps your muscles contract properly, assists with nerve function, and regulates fluid balance. But most folks consume far too much of it. For example, you might follow the Primal Health lifestyle, but douse your veggies and meats frequently in high-sodium condiments, forgetting to keep an eye on such items. High sodium intake contributes to high blood pressure (hypertension), which exerts enormous pressure and stress on your vital organs, particularly your heart. If you are stressed, you need to pay particular attention to the amount of sodium in your diet. In general, 1,500 to 2,400 milligrams is the most you want to consume in a day.

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