Holiday Healthy Eating

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The holiday season is a time filled with parties, family gatherings, and lots of food, so it’s easy to overindulge in rich foods that aren’t so good for you. But, there’s no need to miss out on the festivities just to save your diet — with a little help, you can keep from eating too much during the holidays. Your National Zetas Have Heart Team has some important information that will help you get through the holidays and not miss out on any of those treats you love.

Enjoy reading and Happy Holidays from  your Zetas Have Heart Team!!!

Soror Mary B. Wright~Grand Basileus
Soror Rauchelle Jones~National Director of Programs
Soror Karen Gipson~National Zetas Have Heart, Chair
Committee-Dr. Randall Wright, Soror Fay Walker Dixon, Soror Charisse Audra Collier

Download Healthy Holiday Eating

Using Technology to Get Fit and Stay Fit

Using Technology to Get Fit and Stay Fit

Adopting a habit of regular exercise doesn’t require special equipment or gadgets. It can be as simple as putting on a pair of shoes and heading out for daily walks. For many people, that’s enough. But if you’re easily bored or enjoy using technology to enhance ordinary tasks, take your fun and fitness to the next level with electronic exercise gadgets and digital devices. Read More

Is Yoga Right for You?

Considering it’s thousands of years old, it might seem silly to say that yoga has come a long way in recent years. But as mind/body exercise continues to take hold of the fitness industry, the practice of yoga has moved from the alternative to the mainstream.

Today’s hectic lifestyle has left many people wondering how to manage the stress that comes along with it. While regular aerobic exercise and strength training can help, they aren’t the complete answer. Some experts and practitioners believe that yoga is the piece you need to complete the puzzle of maintaining fitness in both the body and mind. Read More

Healthy Hydration

Water is one of the most essential components of the human body. Water regulates the body’s temperature, cushions and protects vital organs and aids the digestive system. Water not only composes 75% of all muscle tissue and about 10% of fatty tissue, but it also acts within each cell to transport nutrients and dispel waste. And, because water composes more than half of the human body, it is impossible to sustain life for more than a week without it.

Water Loss

Necessary to the healthy function of all internal organs, water must be consumed to replace the amount lost each day during basic activities. According to the Food and Nutrition Board, it is recommended that women consume 2.7 liters (91 oz) daily and men consume 3.7 liters (125 oz) through various beverages (80%) or in food (20%). Active individuals need even more, particularly if they’re exercising in hot weather. This is especially important during the 24 hours prior to vigorous exercise. You can meet your body’s water needs over the course of a day through a variety of fluids and foods, including juices, soda, smoothies, tea, lemonade, soups, fruits and vegetables.

In one hour of exercise the body can lose more than a quart of water, depending on exercise intensity and air temperature. If there is not enough water for the body to cool itself through perspiration, the body enters a state of dehydration.

Dehydration

For regular exercisers, maintaining a constant supply of water in the body is essential to performance. Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. Even small amounts of water loss may hinder athletic performance.

In a dehydrated state the body is unable to cool itself efficiently, leading to heat exhaustion and possibly heat stroke. Without an adequate supply of water, the body will lack energy and muscles may develop cramps.

To prevent dehydration, exercisers must drink before, during and after each workout.

Fluid Balance and Replenishment

It is important to drink even before signs of thirst appear. One way to check your hydration level is to monitor your urine. It should be plentiful and pale yellow unless you are taking supplements, which will darken the color for several hours after consumption.

During exercise, water is the best fluid replenisher for most individuals, although sports drinks help replace lost electrolytes during high-intensity exercise exceeding 45 to 60 minutes. Individuals who sweat profusely during exercise and whose sweat contains a high amount of sodium (you may notice salt stains/rings on your athletic wear) should choose sports drinks and ensure that their diet contains adequate sodium to prevent hyponatremia (water intoxication). Contrary to popular belief, scientific evidence suggests that moderate caffeine intake does not compromise exercise performance or hydration status. However, alcohol consumption can interfere with muscle recovery from exercise and negatively affect a variety of performance variables.

It is easy to prevent dehydration with a variety of refreshing beverages, so drink up!

Hydration Hints

  • Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water two hours before the start of exercise.
  • Drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
  • Drink 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.

Hint: Rehydration occurs faster in the presence of sodium, regardless of whether it is provided in a sports drink.

National Nutrition Month Week 4: 4 Types of Foods to Help Boost Your Memory

If you’re feeling forgetful, it could be due to a lack of sleep or a number of other reasons, including genetics, level of physical activity and lifestyle and environmental factors. However, there’s no doubt that diet plays a major role in brain health.

The best menu for boosting memory and brain function encourages good blood flow to the brain — much like what you’d eat to nourish and protect your heart. Research found the Mediterranean Diet helps in keeping aging brains sharp, and a growing body of evidence links foods like those in the Mediterranean diet with better cognitive function, memory and alertness.

Strengthen Recall by Adding These Foods to the Rotation

Eat your veggies. You’re not likely to forget this message. Getting adequate vegetables, especially cruciferous ones including broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy greens, may help improve memory. Try a kale salad or substitute collard greens for a tortilla in your next sandwich wrap. Broccoli stir-fry is also an excellent option for lunch or dinner.

Be sweet on berries and cherries. Berries — especially dark ones such as blackberries, blueberries and cherries — are a rich source of anthocyanins and other flavonoids that may boost memory function. Enjoy a handful of berries for a snack, mixed into cereal or baked into an antioxidant-rich dessert. You can reap these benefits from fresh, frozen or dried berries and cherries.

Get adequate omega-3 fatty acids. Essential for good brain health, omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular, may help improve memory in healthy young adults. “DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain. It makes sense that if you have higher levels of DHA in the blood, then the brain will operate more efficiently,” says Andrea Giancoli, RD, registered dietitian and past Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson (2005-2014).

Seafood, algae and fatty fish — including salmon, bluefin tuna, sardines and herring — are some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Substitute fish for meat a couple of times each week to get a healthy dose. Grill, bake or broil fish for ultimate flavor and health. Try salmon tacos with red cabbage slaw, snack on sardines or enjoy seared tuna on salad greens for dinner. If you don’t eat fish, discuss other food options and supplementation with your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist. You can get omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, seaweed or microalgae supplements.

Work in walnuts. Well known for a positive impact on heart health, walnuts also may improve working memory. Snack on a handful of walnuts to satisfy midday hunger, add them to oatmeal or salad for crunch or mix them into a vegetable stir-fry for extra protein.

These foods are not just good for the brain, they sustain a healthy heart and all parts of the body. While there’s no guarantee that these foods will help you remember where you put your keys tomorrow, over time they can support lifelong good health

National Nutrition Month Week 3: Make a Fresh Start with Spring Foods

Spring is a great time to hit the reset button and reintroduce some fresh foods into your kids’ diet after a long winter.
Get into the swing of spring produce with these four seasonal favorites.

Spinach

Spinach is called a superfood for a reason: It’s packed with vitamins A and C, which are essential for eye health, immune function and many other body processes. Vitamin K helps build strong bones. Spinach also contains folate and iron, which help prevent anemia. The magnesium and potassium are important for muscle development and growth.

If your kids are on-board with green stuff, serve spinach salads or add it to smoothies. Serve it sautéed with meat and fish. For veggie avoiders, the mild flavor of spinach is easily masked. Just puree and mix it into sauces, soups and meatballs.

Yogurt

A calcium-rich food, yogurt is important for building strong bones and teeth. At eight grams per 6 ounce container, yogurt is also a great source of protein. Greek yogurt has up to twice that much, however it provides less calcium. Yogurt is also a good source of probiotic bacteria, which can promote good digestion and immune system function.

Strawberries

Loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, fresh strawberries are a seasonal superstar. Just one cup provides more than a day’s worth of vitamin C, plus a hearty dose of manganese, which is important for bone development. A serving of strawberries also packs three grams of fiber.

Strawberries are great eaten plain or with other foods. “Sweet and colorful, berries are a great addition to smoothies, cereal and yogurt.

Asparagus

Asparagus is an excellent source of bone-building vitamin K as well as folate. It also provides vitamin A and iron. Available in green, purple and white varieties, asparagus spears are fun to eat and go with all kinds of foods.

National Nutrition Month Week 2: The Basics of the Nutrition Facts Label

The following is a quick guide to reading the Nutrition Facts Label.

Start with the Serving Size

  • Look here for both the serving size (the amount people typically eat at one time) and the number of servings in the package.
  • Compare your portion size (the amount you actually eat) to the serving size listed on the panel. If the serving size is one cup and you eat two cups, you are getting twice the calories, fat and other nutrients listed on the label.

Check Out the Total Calories

  • Find out how many calories are in a single serving. It’s smart to cut back on calories if you are watching your weight.

Let the Percent Daily Values Be Your Guide

Use percent Daily Values (DV) to help evaluate how a particular food fits into your daily meal plan.

  • Daily Values are average levels of nutrients for a person eating 2,000 calories a day. A food item with a 5 percent DV of fat provides 5 percent of the total fat that a person consuming 2,000 calories a day should eat.
  • Percent DV are for the entire day, not just one meal or snack
  • You may need more or less than 2,000 calories per day. For some nutrients you may need more or less than 100 percent DV.

The High and Low of Daily Values

  • Low is 5 percent or less. Aim low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.
  • High is 20 percent or more. Aim high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Limit Saturated Fat, Added Sugars and Sodium

Eating less saturated fat, added sugars and sodium may help reduce your risk for chronic disease.

  • Saturated fat and trans fat are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Eating too much added sugar makes it difficult to meet nutrient needs within your calorie requirement.
  • High levels of sodium can add up to high blood pressure.
  • Remember to aim for low percentage DV of these nutrients.
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