My anti-fatigue aliments

Feeling a bit tired in the middle of the day? Whether it is seasonal or temporary, to give yourself a boost, no need to take extra vitamins. Just stop at any farmer’s market or grocery to fill up your cart or bag. Usually when I feel down I start with fruits. I buy oranges, kiwis, pineapples and grapefruits.

Credit @ Healthy Planet

To fight fatigue, the best ally is vitamin C. Get some! Get plenty of those. It has powerful antioxidants and stimulates the defense mechanism of your body to fight anything that is bad externally. It also allows better absorption of iron present in the same food that you would have consumed during the same meal. Also I buy peppers, cabbage, and spinach. When you mixed those with vitamin C, you will have vitamin C, and folic acid. The latter has the potentiality of aiding your body to defend or to prevent anemia. Try to consume 2 to 3 different type of vegetables a day. Everything is permissible.

Also you can  buy pure dark chocolate and dried fruits .These are high in magnesium. Magnesium is important to our body for it maintains our muscular contractions and our body movements. Thus, one must not neglect it .otherwise, cramps, muscular pains and fatigue will soon and quickly appear. For those of you that do not know, the daily dose of Mg is between 360 and 420 mg. For those of you who like fish. I would stop at the fish market and I would get, crab, salmons. They are all rich in vitamin E, which is also an antioxidant, which plays a role in protecting cellular membranes and brings resources necessary to the brain for better function. To be on top of your shape you must consume 300 g of fish per week. However please be careful for mercury exposure. For those of you that are, meat lover, it is also good to consume red meat such as steak…with this you will get lot of iron. Women have a tendency to lack in iron. Iron is the ally for us to feel alive and to fully feel our tonus. It is advised to eat up to 400 g of red meat per week. You can also choose to alternate with white meat to combat anti-fatigue. For instance, you can buy turkey…turkey contains selenium. It is also an antioxidant that reduces fatigue and boosts your immune system. Lack of selenium may result in cardiovascular problem because selenium contributes to good health for your skeletal muscles and cardiac muscles. It is recommended to consume 60 mg per day for man and 50 mg for women. Also important, you must not forget cheese and yogurts for they contain calcium. If you lack calcium anything that you undertake will seem more tiring and will require more energy. To avoid excess consumption of fat,try to limit cheese to about 50 g per day and choose low fat yogurt.

So readers,try these and let me know how it works out 🙂

Lovers of fish and shellfish…beware!

Nowadays, a lot of people are trying to be healthy; everyone is trying to eat more fish. They do so either by following the Mediterranean diet (which recommends consumption of fish and shellfish) or by avoiding eating meat. I agree fish and shellfish are important part of a healthy diet. Fish and shellfish contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients; they are low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, a well balanced diet should include a variety of fish and shellfish for it can contribute to proper growth and development and have many nutritional benefits for all population-age.

However, often times, people are unaware of the health risks or effects that encompass consumption of fish and shellfish. Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. Individual ,such as I (hihi), don’t really think about the high concentration of mercury in their seafood. Well, I have read from the FDA that some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child or pregnant women’s developing nervous system. Knowing that some fish and shellfish may have detrimental effect to the body, I believe that it indeed becomes important to bring awareness to individuals about the presence of mercury in fish when preparing our meals or when consuming or even buying fish. It is also important to follow some recommendations posted by agencies website such as the CDC,FDA…

Here are some tips to decrease exposure to harmful effects of mercury. Try not to eat too much shark, swordfish, tilefish .Eat seafood that are low in mercury such as shrimp, canned light tuna and try not to eat more than 12 ounces a week of variety of fish and shellfish. I know I have not post about how to properly choose fish but it is as important as the presence of mercury so please take a look at this video of fish safety.

Food safety recalls

Credit @ medscape

Some groceries are implementing the stratagem used by FDA to help their customers in making informed food choices. For instance, in the New York area , waldbaum is one of them and if you go on their website, there is a link that direct you on certain food recalls. Food safety recalls is basically connected to the major foodborne illnesses outbreaks in the US. The US government is regulating this issue. In fact, in an effort to ensure the safety of the US food supply, President Obama signed the food safety modernization act on January 2011 in order to effectively respond to prevention of food contamination.

The major product safety recalls includes ground beef, romaine lettuce, cantaloupe. Recent media reports have referred to an additive called “pink slime” in ground beefs, nowadays lots of groceries are trying to carry all natural ground beef that do not contain any additive in order to satisfy their customers. I know some of you may think, “oh well this recall does not apply to me, I only consume ground turkey”. Well, surprisingly enough there was also last year a recall on ground turkey products produced in Springdale Arkansas. The collaboration of government agencies such as CDC and USDA identified ground turkey as the suspected source of outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg. Also, on September 29 of last year 2011,True Lead Farms of California issued a recall of bagged romaine lettuce. So please say vigilant on which romaine lettuce you are utilizing to put on the table. Another major product recall is cantaloupe from the Jersen Farms Company

Credit @ Parvinder Singh from flickr

based in Colorado. Their cantaloupes were linked to outbreak of listerioris from august through October 2011 and were responsible from various deaths. The outbreak associated is not only the first but also the largest listeriosis outbreak in the history of the Unites States. There is available evidence that this outbreak is currently over.

Knowing that there are many product recalls please stay informed about food recalls to protect yourself and loved ones. Always visit the FDA website and stay alert in order to keep health in your meals.

Concerns about frozen foods…

Nowadays, for convenience reasons lots of individual freeze their food or buy frozen food/fruits. However, they cannot help to

Credit @ Lee Landry from flickr

ponder: “is freezing food a safe alternative? There is still uncertainty on whether or not freezing protect foods. The confusion might arise from the fact that few people truly understand the rules behind freezing food’s safety. Also in developing countries, like in Haiti (my homeland),where there is often power outage, people have raised concerns about to effectively use the freezing to conserve foods. Some people also expressed concerns about thawed food, the USDA states that “partial thawing and refreezing may affect the quality of some food, but the food will be safe to eat”.

The truth is, it is possible to freeze almost any food. Nonetheless, some exceptions may apply such as canned food or eggs in shells. For canned food, it is okay to freeze it after it came out of the can, spam can be an example. If food is store constantly a 0°F, its quality might suffer must it is still safe. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness. However, when these frozen foods change from their solid state to a liquid one, it might become dangerous because microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness. On that instance, it is important to handle them like you would normally handle fresh produce   to avoid multiplication of microorganism. If there is a power outage, the freezer fails, or if the freezer door has been left ajar by mistake, the food may still be safe to use if ice crystals remain. But it is best to keep the freezer door closed for the food to stay cold and safe.

Solutions to effectively use freezing foods include

-Freeze food as soon as possible

-use proper packaging from it maintains quality and prevents freezer burn
– for raw or cooked meat, it’s fine to cook or reheat poultry from the frozen state

-keep the freezer door closed as much as possible

For those of you that have concerns about how to select frozen meals effectively please take a look at this video

Food safety during summer season

If you are in the NYC area, today, it was extremely hot outside. Then when I checked the local weather, to my own surprise I realized it

Credit @ Derivadow from flikr

was about 85 degrees outside. All I could think of was  summer is right at the corner and it always comes with fairs, festivals, barbeques and so forth. I then also realized that most part of these fun activities/activities encompasses consumption of different types of foods. The Center for Disease Control  states that foodborne illnesses increases during the summer months. Henceforth, it becomes even more necessary to implement food safety measures. It is important that whether at home, at fairs, or at a barbeque party one remembers the practices of food safety: clean, separate, cook and chill. So as a consumer it is important for oneself to ask if the vendors wear gloves to handle food? Has the vendor been inspected by the state to sell food? And other questions of these sorts.

During summer season, it becomes easier to engage in unhealthy dietary behavior so it is also important to consider if there are healthy food alternatives. I’m not saying that one should refrain himself/herself from eating burgers, hot dogs, fries, I am just saying that eating those everyday may cause adverse effects on your health later on ; they should be taken as treats rather than making them daily meals. If there are no healthy options, it is sometimes best to carry your own meal or snack from home ensuring that they are properly stored of course.

Credit @ JIT from flikckr

So, during the summer season while attending festive outdoor events, take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family. Always wash hands before handling food and/or before eating. If you suspect that you or your family may have contracted a foodborne illness please contact your local health department. It is important that food safety steps are followed so the food served doesn’t make anyone sick. Try to cook-serve, which means limiting the amount of food preparation performed off site.

Enjoy the weather!:)