Fitness & Wellness

Foods That Make You Feel Good

Foods That Make You Feel Good

When someone mentions foods that make you feel good, you might automatically think of those comfort foods, like a pint of ice cream, mashed potatoes and gravy or double chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. That’s not the type of food that really changes your body to help lift your spirits, but the type of food associated mentally with feeling better. There are actual foods that can help improve your mood in the long run. In fact, if your comfort food is a sweet, it’s probably prolonging your misery, since sugary processed food causes fluctuations in your blood sugar level, with lows leaving you sad and miserable.

Look for foods high in vitamin B6, tryptophan and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Nuts are a great food for lifting your spirits, particularly cashews, Brazil nuts and peanuts. Flaxseed also joins that group. The vitamin tryptophan in cashews converts to serotonin, which helps stabilize your mood and makes you feel happier and more relaxed, and the vitamin B6 helps with that conversion. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps make you less angry and happier. A study focused on changing the diet at a prison with a higher amount of violence and found it reduced the incidences dramatically.

Boost your brain power, fight cancer and improve your mood with berries.

Berries, particularly blueberries, have loads of phytochemicals that fight free radicals that come from our environment. Anthocyanin that makes blueberries blue, is one of the flavonoids that provide brain protection and also helps you feel good. One study compared the effects of drinking a placebo, to drinking a drink made of wild blueberries. The wild blueberry drink improved the mood for people, no matter what their age. Other fresh berries, particularly those that are deep red or purple, also have a similar effect. The same is true for vegetables that are deep red or purple.

Eating your greens helps you body and your mood.

If you have a bowl of leafy greens, you’ve got a bowl of fiber, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folate. As noted previously the B6 helps convert tryptophan to serotonin, increasing the amount the body gets. Serotonin is similar to antidepressants, so the more you have in your body, the lower the risk for depression. You’ll also find B6 in carrots, green peas, sweet potatoes and legumes. The folate (not folic acid, which people often confuse it with) in leafy greens also helps regulate the serotonin and magnesium has been used to treat depression for years.

  • If chocolate was on your feel good list, you may be on the right track, but it has to be dark chocolate with a high amount of cacao, very little if any milk or sugar. It’s the polyphenols in cacao that make it good for your mood.
  • You need foods high in vitamin C to produce neurotransmitters that are necessary to make hormones like dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin, which make you feel good. Red bell peppers and citrus fruits and good sources.
  • Many Americans have a deficiency of magnesium, which can cause depression. Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds each day can help replenish the magnesium.
  • Increasing blood circulation can occur when blood vessels dilate. That can improve your mood. A cup and a half cups of coffee each day can help do that. The caffeine also increases the production of dopamine.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Is Cheese Sabotaging My Weight Loss?

Is Cheese Sabotaging My Weight Loss?

Many clients at Team Worx Fitness in Alexandria, VA, have come to me confused. They’ve eaten dairy all their life, including cheese, thinking it was a healthy option and one good for weight loss, only to find they might be mistaken. One reason for the confusion is the variety of cheese you use and the amount. Too often people don’t consider serving size, but instead, slice the cheese thick and eat several servings at once.

There are healthier cheeses and unhealthy ones.

Read the label. If it says cheese food, prepared cheese or processed cheese, it’s not real cheese. For instance, in 2016, manufacturers of Parmesan cheese had to remove their cheese from the grocery shelves because the FDA noted that many of them were nothing more than grated cheddar and cellulose—which is made from wood pulp and used as an anti-clumping agent. Highly processed cheese food, disguised as cheese, can destroy your diet and health, particularly cheese food like nacho cheese. Unless the label reads pasteurized processed cheese, it’s not 100% cheese. If instead reads pasteurized processed cheese product or cheese food, it’s only 51% cheese.

The fat in cheese can fill you up, but too much of it can fill you out, too.

If you’re shopping for the best cheese for a diet, don’t immediately head for the low fat, no fat option. In fact, that might even make you gain weight. Like yogurt that’s had the fat removed, when they remove the fat from cheese, they add other things to improve the flavor. Your body also needs fat to burn fat, so it’s important to have healthy fat in your diet. Cheese also is high in protein, which is also filling. One study in Australia found that people who increased the amount of dairy eaten, which included cheese, also lost more weight than the control group who didn’t increase it.

Not all cheese is the same.

Some types of cheese are healthier and better for weight loss. You might not immediately think of cottage cheese when you think of cheese, but it’s a good source of protein and good for dieting. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is a healthy cheese that’s also good for diets. Feta cheese is another good option and naturally low in fat, but high in protein. Goat cheese, gouda, blue cheese and cheddar are also good.

  • No matter what type of cheese you choose, be aware of portion size. One ounce of hard cheese is the size of a pair of dice. A half cup of cottage cheese or ¼ C feta contains almost the same calories but is more filling.
  • One of the biggest problems with cheese is often how it served, like on top of a pizza or burger. It’s more the burger and pizza that are blocking your weight loss efforts.
  • Cheese offers many health benefits. It’s a good source of amino acids, Vitamins B2, B12, D and A, and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s even better if it’s from grass-fed cows, since that cheese contains nutrients that boost your metabolism.
  • You can actually use cheese to lose weight by using it as a replacement for higher calorie options. For instance, replacing mayo with cream cheese or substituting cottage cheese for whipped cream with fruit.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

What You Don't Know About OTC Vitamins

What You Don’t Know About OTC Vitamins

I encourage people to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise. Some clients at Team Worx Fitness in Alexandria, VA, have asked me if OTC vitamins—over the counter vitamins—offer benefits. It’s easy to understand how you might think they help, since Americans purchase over millions of dollars worth each year, and even more if you include other types of supplements. Is it really healthy or is it just good advertising that drives those sales?

Supplements may not offer the benefits you hoped.

There are three studies recently completed at John Hopkins that looked into whether supplements were beneficial or not. They were all large, with the biggest study following 450,000 people. That large study showed OTC multivitamins didn’t reduce the risk for cancer or heart disease. The same was true of one of the smaller, yet significant studies. The last smaller study, which had only 5947 subjects, looked at multivitamins use and the potential for reducing mental decline. The study followed these people for 12 years and found they didn’t have any effect.

OTC products may not be bioavailable.

No matter how dedicated you are to taking your vitamins, your body may not get the benefits. That’s because it can’t absorb the nutrients it offers. Even if it’s a pure form of the vitamin, your body may not be able to use it because it’s not bioavailable. Lots of things determine bioavailability. How quickly the vitamin breaks down is one. If it breaks down too easily, it doesn’t have a long shelf life, but if it has a longer shelf life, you may find it in your toilet amidst the corn and peanuts that also don’t digest. Some drugs taken with vitamins limit their availability and some forms of the vitamin do too.

Taking too much of anything is not necessarily a good thing.

If you’re taking high doses of a vitamin, it can be toxic. While it may not kill you, if you take more vitamin C than you need, you’ll end up with diarrhea and urine rich in vitamin C. The real dangers come with fat soluble vitamins, like vitamin E, D or A. High amounts of vitamin E increase the risk of stroke. People who smoke and take high amounts of vitamin A or beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer.

  • Taking calcium supplements, particularly if you’re a senior, may actually be dangerous. It can cause calcium to build up in artery walls. You’re better off doing weight bearing exercises to help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Taking multivitamins and thinking you’ve got your basis covered is just as dangerous. You need many of the phytonutrients to work in synergy for more effective benefits or even any benefits at all.
  • Not all forms of the vitamin are bioavailability, meaning it doesn’t allow your system to use it. Many of the vitamin forms used in multivitamins are less expensive, but also less effective and harder to break down.
  • Some vitamins may be important. For instance, vitamin D is extremely important, but many people have a deficiency, since they get little sun and it’s hard to get in food. Always ask your health care professional before you start taking any supplements.
  • For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Will Working Out Help My Depression?

Will Working Out Help My Depression?

Whether you’ve lost a job, a loved one or had any other rough spot in the road, depression is natural. In most cases, it’s short-lived or relatively mild. For those cases of depression, working out can help. However, for severe depression that keeps you in bed, not willing to continue, you need professional help. Even if you’re getting professional help, exercising may provide an adjunct therapy and is often used instead of medication by counselors.

Stress hormones can create stress and stress can create depression.

When you’re under stress, the fight or flight response is triggered. However, it was meant to handle the stress that occurs when a wild animal or warring tribe is the threat. It wasn’t meant for the stress that comes from a job loss. Fight or flight prepares your body to run or fight, neither of which are suitable in most cases. When you don’t burn off the hormones of stress that prepare the body, it can lead to anxiety and depression. Exercise helps you do that and even triggers the production of hormones that make you feel good. It increases the potential for neurogenesis, which is part of the process for creating new brain cells. That can help prevent mental decline.

Strength training can help build the body and also help relieve the brain.

Several studies show that using strength training can provide benefits to reduce depression. One study was of stroke survivors, who often suffer from depression. When the group studied did strength training for ten weeks, they had a significant improvement in the signs of depression. Scientists hypothesized that some of it was attributed to the feeling of control gained through strength training. The also added that getting more control improved their mood, while minimizing anxiety.

You’ll improve your circulation.

Aerobic exercise, especially when it’s vigorous, gets your blood circulating. Studies show that vigorous aerobic workouts are probably the best for fighting depression. It may not even have to be that vigorous, but requires constant movement, like a long walk. The more intense the aerobic exercise, the more endorphins and other happy hormones are released. Those hormones act like natural morphine to deal with pain, but they also give you a sense of well-being that can lift your spirits and minimize depression.

  • Less strenuous movements, like the slow movements of tai chi or yoga, not only improve your flexibility, they also can reduce depression according to many studies.
  • If you find yourself depressed, but aren’t ready for a formal workout, take a walk or turn on happy music and dance. If the song is happy and motivational, the combination of movement and lyrics can provide relief.
  • One of the biggest problems that occur with depression, is that you don’t feel like doing anything, especially exercise. If that’s the case, force yourself to go for a walk and increase your walking speed and distance bit by bit.
  • Severe depression is a serious problem. Don’t delay getting the help of a professional. You can add exercise to your program even if you’re working with a professional. If you have a bad day, you can always exercise a little extra or get out your walking, dancing or running shoes and start moving.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Start Now To Get Ready For Summer

Start Now To Get Ready For Summer

Don’t throw away your opportunity to have the summer fun you deserve. Don’t let being out of shape, tired or feeling frumpy stop you from getting that tan, enjoying the sun and enjoying every minute of summer. How can you do that? You can get ready for summer, starting today. In just a couple of short months, you can make a huge difference in how you look and feel and by the end of summer, look forward to even more enjoyment over the fall and winter holidays.

In just two months, you can lose 20-pounds or more safely.

Not only will you lose weight by eating healthy, you’ll even look thinner by adding exercise to your daily routine. Exercise builds muscles and muscles burn more calories than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the higher your metabolism, burning more calories 24/7. When you exercise, it makes you look trimmer. One pound of muscle tissue takes up less space than a pound of fat. It’s similar to comparing the size of container for exactly a pound of feathers and a pound of steel. The one with the feathers will be a lot bigger. Even though you might lose 20-pounds, you’ll look like you lost a lot more.

Boost your energy while you build your strength and endurance.

Not only does strength training build muscles, when you combine it with endurance training it burns off the pounds quickly and builds your energy level. If the beach isn’t your destination, but a trip to the zoo with the kids is, having more energy may be just what you’re hoping to get. The more energy you have, the more active you’ll be and that increases the amount of energy you’ll have tomorrow. It snowballs.

Healthy eating should be a key priority.

Healthy eating isn’t dieting. Instead, it’s about making smarter choices when you eat. Most trainers agree that a great body starts in the kitchen. Your diet also affects your energy level and mood, so getting the most out of life also starts with diet. You’ll be amazed at how delicious healthy foods can taste. Don’t worry, you still can have a favorite treat occasionally, just keep portion control in mind and don’t make it too often.

  • You don’t have to want to lose weight to benefit when you workout. You might want to tone all parts of your body. A toned derriere looks far better than a droopy one, and toned arms are better than batwings.
  • Working out helps hide cellulite, just as a healthy diet does. Losing weight and building muscle tissue takes a lot of the pucker out of cottage cheese lumpy thighs.
  • Don’t forget flexibility training. Your walk will be improved and so will your agility, but most of all, flexibility training can protect you from injury that can ruin a summer of fun.
  • Make a bucket list of things you’d like to do this summer that are outside, active or show off your new energy or body. Make it a goal to check off at least five things this summer.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Best Treats You Can Have In Moderation

Best Treats You Can Have In Moderation

We help you be your best with a nutrition program and a program that will get you fit quickly. At TeamWorX Fitness in Alexandria, VA, we don’t give you a diet but provide a map to help you learn how to eat healthier. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all the foods you love. There are treats you can have in moderation. You still have to pay attention to portion size and not consume a family box of sugary treats in one setting, so it requires control, but limiting your treat to one daily treat that has between 100 and 200 calories might slow the weight loss down a bit, but not by much.

Break down snacks to 100-200 calorie portions.

If you have the discipline, which only you can say, buy a family size bag of chips, nuts or taco chips and a box of plastic baggies. Break down the bag into individual 100 or 200 calorie portions. If there’s cake, cookies or other treats available, know what size portion fits your calorie requirement of 100-200 calories. Be prepared with the information ahead of time if you’re going to a party or family dinner.

Eat fresh fruit or veggies as your treat.

A medium sliced apple with two tablespoons of peanut butter is 283 calories, but it’s more than just a treat, it’s good for you. If you want to save calories, eat half the apple with a meal and eat the other half apple with peanut butter as a snack for a little over 140 calories. Grapes, pears, black cherries and other fruit make a sweet treat that’s healthy.

One slice of angel food cake is only 72 calories.

Now top that angel food cake with 8 large, sliced strawberries for about 66 calories and 2 TBSP of non-fat topping for another 25 calories. That’s 163 calories and it’s a dessert that’s made for a queen or king. Mix a ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt—72 calories—with ½ cup frozen sliced black cherries—50 calories, a half banana—50 calories and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, which is another 53 calories. Mix it and divide it in half. It one half immediately and freeze the other to eat like you would ice cream. It’s about 113 calories a serving.

  • What could be better than dipping strawberries into rich dark chocolate. This sweet treat will fill you up, but you have to make sure you use dark chocolate chips or a square of dark chocolate with the highest percentage of cacao.
  • Make your own microwave popcorn for a treat. Just put 1 ½ TBSP of popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag, fold the edge over and microwave it for a minute or two. It’s about 72 calories for 3-cups. Top it with a tsp of unsalted butter and a tsp of ranch dressing mix for another 50 calories.
  • Make your own trail mix. Mix your favorite nuts, dried fruit and bits of chocolate, then bag the mix into individual serving sizes. As you mix the big batch calculate the calories and then divide it up into 100 to 200 calorie bags.
  • Try grilling your favorite fruits for a sweet treat. Grilled pineapple, with a maraschino cherry or two topping the finished product or a grilled banana, papaya or peach is delicious and super low in calories.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Best Workouts For Toning Arms

Best Workouts For Toning Arms

We’re headed for warmer weather and lighter clothing. You know, they type that shows all your arms, not just your hands. If you have a problem with arm jiggle or bat wings, then it’s time to start workouts for toning arms. Not only will you look better, you’ll feel better two and be able to have more strength in your arms, which can mean having more fun in the summer months without getting sore and tired. These exercises are excellent for people who recently lost weight, but still have the excess skin left.

Strength training is the key to having toned arms.

That flabby extra skin under your arm, often called bat wings, is easier to get rid of when you do strength training, especially with dumbbells. Forearm wrist curls, palm up and palm down wrist curls and bicep curls can help tone the muscle. Do tricep kickbacks or overhead extensions, too. If you’re doing these at home and don’t have weights, don’t worry. You can create a substitute dumbbell with a water bottle or soup can. Hold it in both hands, one on top of the other, over your head, bend your arms at the elbow as you slowly lower it behind your head at a 90 degree angle. Lift back to starting position and repeat.

You can do arm exercises at work.

If you have your own cubicle and a chair that doesn’t have rollers, you’re ready for a quick workout that can also be a good break. Do a chair dip. If you don’t know what that is, it’s simple. Sit on the edge of a chair with your heels touching and legs extended straight. Grab the side of the chair you’re sitting in and lift yourself forward. Once your bottom passes the edge of the chair, lower your body slowly until your upper arms are parallel to the floor and your elbow is bent at a 90 degree angle. Lift back up to seated position and repeat.

You can tone your arms as you watch TV.

Bodyweight exercises are great for toning arms. Push-ups or modified push-ups are a start. The standard push-up is excellent for toning arms, even if you’re doing the modified knee push-up version for beginners. You can work different muscle groups by just adjusting the placement of your hands either close together or further apart. If you’re watching your favorite television show, do a plank during commercials. Not only will a plank help tone your arms, but it also builds core strength, too.

  • If you have access to dumbbells, do a bent dumbbell row. Bend at the waist pushing shoulder blades together and keeping your back flat. Your arms are straight down in starting position, then they lift the dumbbells to your chest and lower them again.
  • Don’t forget the importance of a healthy diet when you’re toning your muscles. Your body needs the nutrition to build muscle tissue. Make sure your duet has plenty of protein, especially collagen, to improve skin elasticity.
  • If you’re working out at home and want to take the workout a step further, but don’t have a lot of money for fancy equipment, get resistance bands. They’re inexpensive and store easily, but provide great muscle-toning benefits.
  • Towel curls are also great arm exercises that use common items in your home. If you want a personalized program to get results faster, we’re ready to help you at Team Worx Fitness.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Why Do Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

Why Do Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

One of the biggest complaints I hear from women at Team Worx Fitness in Alexandria, VA is that they’ve changed their diet and create healthier meals and their husbands, who aren’t working out, seem to lose more weight than they do. It’s true, men lose weight faster than women, but there are reasons that this happens and ways to make the effort more equitable. It all starts by noting the differences in male and female body structure.

Men require more calories than women.

Men have more lean muscle mass than women. The more muscles you have, the more calories you require. That’s because it takes more calories to maintain muscle mass than it does to maintain fat. Women actually need more body fat for survival. It’s necessary for the reproductive system and if a woman’s body gets too low, she’ll suffer from athletic amenorrhea—lack of periods. While men need about 2 to 5%, women require 10 to 13%. The average fit woman has about 76 to 86% lean muscle mass, while the average fit man has 83 to 94%

Men’s bodies are normally larger.

There are definitely women that are taller than some men, but on the average, men tend to be larger boned and taller than women. That means they also should weigh more. The more you weigh, the more effort it takes just walking around and the more calories you burn. Society has dictated many of the manual chores to the males of the family, which means they burn more calories, but that’s changed a lot the last few years. If you check a calorie chart to find out how many calories are necessary to lose weight for your height, weight and activity level, you’ll find it also differs by gender. That shows men simply burn more calories each day, making it easier for them to lose weight.

You can close the gap and should close it.

While men tend to burn more calories, you can increase the calories you burn by making a few changes. The first is to get active. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. Part of your workout should be in strength-building. It puts on more lean muscle mass that revs your metabolism. It’s also important for women who want to avoid the potential of osteoporosis. Studies show that weight bearing exercises on a regular basis can slow or reverse bone loss as well as some medications. The only side effect is looking years younger and fabulous.

  • Not only will a sedentary lifestyle make it harder to lose weight, it also takes its toll on your body. Exercise can help prevent serious conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • It is discouraging to work hard at the gym and stick with a healthy eating plan only to lose less weight than a spouse, who eats more. That’s why each person should judge their progress based on their own personalized goals and progress.
  • A woman’s body is programmed to store fat for survival. Higher levels of estrogen cause women to store fat in the pelvis, buttocks, breasts and thighs. It also means less lean muscle mass.
  • If you’re working out hard on your own and dieting, but not making any progress, come into Team Worx Fitness. We can help. You’ll get a personalized workout and a nutrition plan that will help you reach your weight loss goal faster.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Foods That Relieve Stress

Foods That Relieve Stress

What’s the first thing you reach for when you feel under stress? If it’s a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or a bowl of mashed potatoes, you’re probably focusing on comfort foods. However, to truly relieve stress you need to focus on certain healthy foods, focus on getting more sleep and getting adequate exercise. All these things can lower your cortisol levels and cortisol is the primary hormone of stress. It’s key in the fight-or-flight response, but when you get too much, for too long, it can create stress, which increases your blood pressure and causes inflammation.

Lower cortisol by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, starting with foods high in vitamin B.

If you want to boost the vitamin B levels in your diet, look for whole grains that are fortified with vitamin B or opt for animal products like beef, chicken, eggs, organ meat or nutritional yeast. Look for foods highest in B12, such as organ meats, clams, sardines and tuna. B12 helps metabolize cortisol. B12 also helps support normal functions of nerve cells, and can boost your energy level, improve your memory and help reduce the potential for heart disease.

Omega3 fatty acids can help mellow you out.

Your body cannot make the essential fatty acids, which includes omega-3 and omega-6. You have to get them from food. You need both, but in a specific ratio. It should be a three to one ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Unfortunately, today people eat 25 times more omega-6 compared to omega-3. Studies show that boosting the omega-3 and reducing the omega-6 back to the point where you have three times more omega-6 in the diet, can also reduce violent behavior, reduce inflammation and bring more peace of mind. Sources of omega-3 fatty acid include fatty fish like salmon, avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, oysters and walnuts.

Eat foods rich in magnesium.

Avocados, bananas, broccoli, spinach, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and spinach are foods that contain magnesium. It also helps metabolize cortisol, reduces inflammation and helps relax both the body and mind. Magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters. They’re the messengers that travel throughout the nervous system and brain. It’s also anti-inflammatory, reduces PMS and provides a host of other benefits.

  • You need to balance your blood sugar levels to reduce stress, a spike in blood sugar can create stress. Food’s high in protein, like meat, fish, beans and legumes, are good to reduce stress.
  • A lot of your immune system is based in your gut and the microbiome. In fact, those friendly microbes also affect your mood. Eating fermented foods help balance blood sugar, which is another aid, while it boosts your mood. Kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt are good sources.
  • If you need a quick fix to reduce stress, try a few pumpkin seeds or some dark chocolate that’s at least 90% cacao. They contain magnesium that will help you relax quickly.
  • If you’re under stress, don’t make it worse. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, are simple carbs, soft drinks, food high in caffeine and alcoholic drinks.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

What Are The Healthiest Berries?

What Are The Healthiest Berries?

Everyone interested in their health probably knows that fruits and vegetables are healthy. Not all fruits or vegetables are equal when it comes to good health. For instance, berries are healthy, but what are the healthiest berries? At TeamWorX in Alexandria, VA, we help you improve your diet, and providing that kind of information is important. I won’t use the botanical definition of a berry, because that would include bananas, peppers, eggplant, watermelon, oranges, pumpkins, avocados tomatoes, kiwis and cucumbers. Botanically these are all fruits and berries, but not considered that by most people, and the list wouldn’t include strawberries, black raspberries and raspberries, which are botanically fruit but not berries.

Cranberries are tart, but really good for UTIs—urinary tract infections.

Besides containing a lot of vitamin C, fiber and manganese, cranberries contain an antioxidant called polyphenols and substances that prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, bladder wall and stomach wall. Their slick surface powers stop the E. coli from getting firm footing in the bladder to create a UTI and H. pylori from sticking to the stomach wall to cause an ulcer. They also help keep arteries more flexible, lower blood pressure, prevent oxidative stress and reduce high cholesterol levels.

The Resveratrol that makes red wine heart healthy comes from the skin of the grapes.

Not only do dark skinned grapes contain resveratrol, but they also contain anthocyanins. In fact, it’s what makes them a deep blue or purple. Both are beneficial for the heart and help prevent other degenerative diseases. While white grapes are still good for you, purple and red have the highest antioxidant benefits. Grapes are high in fiber, vitamin C and K. Eating grapes at least three times a week can also help lower your risk of diabetes. Consuming them can reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower oxidative stress. Other studies show that drinking a cup and a half of Concord grape juice for three months can also help improve your memory.

Another blue berry brimming with anthocyanin is the blueberry.

When you see a fruit or vegetable that’s blue or deep purple, it probably contains anthocyanins. Blueberries are good for the brain and can help reduce cognitive impairment that occurs as you age. It also can help improve artery functioning and lower the bad cholesterol. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes and including blueberries in your diet can reduce it by as much as 26%. They’re also packed with manganese, vitamin C, K and fiber.

  • Even though strawberries aren’t true berries, they’re consumed like berries and help reduce the risk of heart disease, aid in preventing diabetes and lower inflammation that’s responsible for many serious conditions.
  • Another non-berry berry that’s super healthy is the raspberry. All raspberries contain antioxidants and black raspberries in particular can help reduce inflammation, which helps lower the risk of heart disease.
  • One berry that’s been labeled a superfood by some is the goji berry. It boosts antioxidants in the blood and contains vitamins A, C, fiber and iron.
  • Another berry dubbed as a superfood by some is the acai berry. It’s beneficial for reducing blood sugar levels and the amount of insulin released. It also can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness