In this issue:
We have added a new class at BodyBasics called the Foundations Class. This is a cost effective alternative to our private sessions. Become confident in performing the movements safely and effectively in a more personalized small group setting with a maximum of 4 participants.
Classes: Mon 2pm, Tue /Thu 5:30pm, W/F/Sa 11am
BodyBasics and Lucy have partnered up for the month of April. Enjoy a special shopping day, Monday, April 21st from 4-7pm and receive 15% off your purchase! With the new summer line coming out in April, this is the perfect time to go shop at Lucy!
Come join us as we help support Pusch Ridge Christain Academy.
For the month of April, our client challenge is to consume five different colors of combined fruits and veggies every day. We understand this is a lofty challenge. However we also know how much impact this challenge can provide to so many aspects of your health. Did you know that vegetables such as yams, beets, and forms of cabbage may prevent cancer cells from multiplying (1) Or that eating a diet high in a multitude of fruits and vegetables can not only reduce heart disease risk; it can actually reverse some of the deleterious effects for those who already have it (2) Considering that heart disease and cancer continually rank as the number one and two causes of death in our country, this is good news to know that simply increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables can give you a substantial edge.
The reason why eating a variety of fruits of vegetables is so important is largely based on what their different colors represent. You see, each color actually speaks to certain non-energy providing chemicals known as phytochemicals that reside in that particular fruit or vegetable. Phytochemicals have received quite a bit of publicity for their anti-oxidative qualities. But these chemicals do so much more. I am going to provide some background on six of these to help us all appreciate more why we should be aiming for more fruits and veggies in our diets.
Many of you are probably familiar with beta-carotene. This phytochemical has become synonymous with carrots. Beta-carotene is one of a group of red, orange, and yellow pigments called carotenoids. Its benefits include improving physical performance and strength in the elderly, keeping osteoarthritis from getting worse, preventing asthma attacks triggered by exercise, and reducing the risk of breast cancer in women before menopause. Some of the most common sources you can add to your grocery lists are sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, apricots (I love dried unsweetened personally), spinach, and broccoli.
The second one to add to your list is lycopene. If you thought about tomatoes when I said it, you are on the right track. This phytochemical, also a type of carotenoid, gives fruits and veggies their red color. Lycopene may play a role in certain forms of cancer prevention. The latest research according to the National Institutes of Health speaks to prostate, breast, ovarian, pancreatic, and lung show the most success warding off cancer with higher intakes of lycopene containing foods. Heart disease in women could also be swayed favorably by adding this phytochemical regularly. Top sources are guava, watermelon, cooked tomatoes, papaya, and asparagus.
Lutein, a phytochemical largely found predominantly in green leafy vegetables, is our number three contender for “must have” in your kitchen. Lutein is another one that is integral in keeping our hearts healthy. But, its biggest claim to fame is eye health. Many studies have shown that lutein along with another phytochemical zeaxanthin reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Dietary sources, such as ½ cup of cooked spinach daily can reduce your chances of AMD by 42%. I do this every morning with another great source of lutein, eggs. If you are someone who tends toward having higher cholesterol levels to begin with, simply skip the egg yolk and opt for whites alone or some 0 cholesterol egg substitute. Other sources of lutein include kiwi, kale, broccoli, yellow corn, and honeydew melon.
Our fourth pick for “bang for your buck” phytochemicals is a specific grouping called salicylates. These chemicals are found in plants and researchers of them believe they aid plants in defending themselves from insects, diseases, fungi, and harmful bacteria. As such, salicylates have been demonstrated to have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. As inflammation and oxidative stress (free radical damage) are at the root of most degenerative diseases it is not surprising that salicylates help prevent Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease. It is important to also note that in some individuals, such as those with a condition called leaky gut syndrome, there can be a lack of certain enzymes that aid in breaking down salicylates for our bodies to metabolize them. Someone in this situation will quickly develop intolerances to salicylates and GI distress will result. Sources of salicylates are many among fruits and vegetables. High concentrations of them are found in apples, most berries, dates, grapes, pineapples to name a few. Vegetables sources include artichokes, broccoli, radishes, eggplant, and fresh spinach (4).
A fifth go to group of phytochemicals are proanthocyanidins. These chemicals are powerful antioxidants that occur almost exclusively in fruits such as apples, grapes, blueberries, cranberries, and black currants. One form of squash, called Indian squash, is the only known vegetable to contain comparable concentrations of proanthocyanidins. Research suggests that these compounds are beneficial in many areas of health because of their ability to bond with collagen, promoting youthful skin, cell health, elasticity, and flexibility. Other studies have shown that proanthocyanidins help protect the body from UV rays damage, improve flexibility in joints, arteries, and body tissues such as the heart, and improve blood circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries, and veins (5).
Rounding out our six explored phytochemicals is sulforaphane. This chemical occurring solely in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and red cabbage has been found to have several health benefits. It demonstrates powerful anti-cancer properties by both working directly as an anticancer agent and also stimulating production of antioxidant enzymes within our bodies. It has also been shown to protect against inflammatory conditions of the respiratory tract such as asthma, chronic pulmonary disease (CPD), and sinusitis (5).
Hopefully I have given you more reason to add more fruits and veggies to your daily intake. To restate, both forms of cancer and heart disease are the top two reasons people die each year in America. Fruit and vegetable consumption has been demonstrated to lower your risk of dying from both of these causes. Be proactive with your health and relish the rainbow.
Hung HC, Joshipura KJ, Jiang R, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of major chronic disease. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004; 96:1577–84.
Carrie recently completed the Pima County Community College’s Fitness Professional Certificate Program and is our newest trainer. She is most looking forward to shining happiness, health, fitness and passion for life on to others.
Carrie was born and raised here in Tucson and is a graduate of Canyon Del Oro High School. She loves spending time with her children and running with her group on Saturday mornings. When she’s not working you can find her playing with her children and hiking.
Richard started training at BodyBasics with Maureen and Zane last August after surviving a serious car accident in the spring of that same year. He suffered significant injury to his thoracic spine and even after being released from physical therapy, Richard was in constant pain. Progress was slow at first and Richard spent a lot of his time relearning the fundamentals of core control. Today, he is swinging kettle bells and is dead lifting over 150 pounds and is improving daily. Richard says that he feels more fit than he did in high school and his day to day pain level is negligible.
Great job Richard! Your hard work at home and in the gym is paying off!
Grilled Vegetables with Feta Cheese
Cooking Light, August 2005 Issue
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise (about 1 pound)
- 1 red bell pepper, quartered
- 1 yellow bell pepper, quartered
- 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices Vidalia or other sweet onion
- 4 (4-inch) portobello caps
- Cooking spray
- 4 cups hot cooked basmati rice
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk.
To prepare vegetables, combine 1/4 cup vinaigrette, zucchini, and bell peppers in a large bowl. Brush remaining 1/4 cup vinaigrette over both sides of onion slices and mushroom caps. Place vegetables on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until vegetables are tender and browned. Place vegetables on a cutting board; cut each vegetable piece in half. Serve over rice; sprinkle with cheese.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup rice, about 2 cups vegetables, and 1 tablespoon cheese)
Your BodyBasics Team:
Myrya, Chris, Amber, Zane, Maureen, Mike, Carrie