Scientists Discovered Why High Intensity Interval Training Can Match Endurance Training

Scientists have always struggled to understand exactly how short, few minutes, intense interval exercises can produce similar effects to much more time consuming endurance trainings.

High intensity interval training, also known by its acronym HIIT, has become very popular in recent years with beginners, professional athletes and patients with reduced muscle functions as it has clear health benefits. Now, researchers from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet discovered cellular mechanisms behind the positive benefits of HIIT and why endurance training is undermined by antioxidants.

Source: Scientists Discovered Why High Intensity Interval Training Can Match Endurance Training

Here’s what they’re doing 3 times a week:

  • You need a heart rate monitor (HRM) for…
  • 5-10 minute warm up
  • 4 minutes of exercise at a heart rate of suggested BPM (220-age)
  • 3 minutes of easy work, attempting to get the heart rate down to ~135 BPM
  • Repeat 3 times

Disclaimer: If you are at high risk for a cardiac event it might be best to see a physician before participating in vigorous exercise like HIIT. But for the majority, there should be no reason to avoid this type of exercise.  I’ve covered why raising your heart rate is good for you in the past.

The idea of max heart rate is debated (see this article), and can be very personal.  I’m told that if you can talk while maintaining a high heart rate, it’s OK for you.

Antioxidants May Lead to Cancer Spread, Study Says

Since the term “antioxidants” made the leap from the realm of biochemistry labs and into the public consciousness in the  1990s, Americans have come to believe that more is better when it comes to consuming the substance that comes in things like acai berries, green tea and leafy veggies.

A provocative new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature raises important questions about that assumption.

Source: The latest study about antioxidants is terrifying. Scientists think they may boost cancer cells to spread faster.

This article leaves off a couple of important points on the research

  1. Anti-oxidants increase the rate at which metastases form, and do not appreciably affect the growth of the primary tumor.
  2. The study focused on melanoma xenografts only, some of which are highly metastatic. This will probably apply to other kinds of cancer as well, but that needs to be more fully investigated.
  3. N-acetylcysteine isn’t just an antioxidant.

Here’s the journal article itself (behind a paywall).

Study: The Healthiest Way To Eat Eggs

For those who eat eggs…

While the egg yolk debate (to eat or not to eat) may continue among doctors, nutritionists and others in the health industry, researchers from Purdue University are giving the whole egg the thumbs up.

In fact, they’ve discovered that eggs consumed with raw vegetables can actually increase the nutritional value of the veggies.

This study, which was presented earlier this month at the American Society for Nutrition’s Annual Meeting, consisted of 16 healthy young men who were instructed to eat three different salads — one with no egg, one with one-and-a-half scrambled whole eggs and another with three scrambled whole eggs. “And what we observed was that there was a progressive increase in the absorption of the carotenoids from the vegetables as you had more eggs, which we attribute to the fat component of the yolk,” lead study author Wayne Campbell, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition science at Purdue University, tells Yahoo Health.

Source: The Healthiest Way To Eat Eggs

They don’t quite know how, just that for a small sample it did.  I have a recipe for scrambled eggs, which reminds me that I haven’t made scrambled egg pita pockets in a while…

Juicing Unlocks More Vitamins, But Also Calories and Sugar

We all could probably eat more fruits and vegetables. But if forced to choose between whole fruit or a glass of juice, which one seems more healthful?

The general advice is to opt for the fruit, since juices are stripped of the fiber – which most us don’t get enough of — in whole fruit. And let’s face it: Most juice contains a lot of sugar, which most of us consume too much of.

So our interest was piqued when we spotted a study suggesting that, when it comes to oranges, juice might actually unlock more carotenoids and flavonoids – both beneficial phytonutrients — than an equivalent amount of fruit.

Source: What’s More Nutritious, Orange Juice Or An Orange? It’s Complicated

Fruit juice has also been criticized as a sugary, fiberless drink no better for you than cola. The study shows that orange juice does make certain nutrients more accessible to your body, but not enough to recommend juice over whole fruit.  Keep in mind that a home juicer is not going to pasteurize your OJ. It is well known (or not) that pasteurizing sweetens juices quite dramatically. And since this was done is a test tube (in vitro), actual blood sugar spikes to a cohort population was not even tested.

So is orange juice healthy? That depends on whether it helps you meet your goals. If you’re trying to reduce the sugar in your diet (as many of us should), the sugar concerns may outweigh the benefits you get from the extra micronutrients.  For those who must maintain a very low fiber (low residue) diet, juicing is a great alternative to otherwise problematic fruits and veggies.

What about blending the whole fruit into smoothies instead of just juicing?  In the study, the puree’s nutrients were less bioavailable than the juice.

Maple Syrup: Good for You?

In addition to its natural caramel-y sweetness, there’s one more reason to pour on the maple syrup: it’s actually good for you. Yes, pure maple syrup is not only high in antioxidants, but every spoonful offers nutrients like riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. According to Helen Thomas of the New York State Maple Association, maple syrup has a higher concentration of minerals and antioxidants, yet fewer calories than honey.

Source: Pour it On! Maple Syrup is Good For You

Sadly, the article is short and shorter on details about why maple syrup is good for you.  It’s basically a fluff piece for the maple syrup industry…

But it reminded me of Untapped, a competitor gel product based on maple syrup.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Beans

Beans are a super healthy, super versatile and super affordable food. Beans are high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Eating beans regularly may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and helps with weight management. Beans are hearty, helping you feel full so you will tend to eat less.

As we get older, we need fewer calories and beans are a great way to boost the nutrition power of your meal without boosting the calories. A half-cup of beans has only about 100 calories.

Source: After-40 Nutrition: The Surprising Health Benefits of Beans

They missed something you can do with beans – make vegan brownies (recipe).  I’m conflicted about eating them – it’s way too healthy for a brownie.  I also like to add salsa to my navy beans.

Fall Foods that Benefit Your Skin and Hair

You may want to pause before gulping down that pumpkin spice latte. While everyone from Starbucks to Oreo wants you craving all pumpkin everything, there’s actually a healthy way to utilize the seasonal orange squash—the real stuff, not the sugar-high inducing, cinnamon spiked puree in a can.

You may have noticed pumpkin face masks and cranberry hair treatments flooding the beauty aisles, and while some are gimmicks capitalizing on your fall nostalgia, dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum says there are a few fall foods that can truly help your hair and skin when applied topically.

Source: Fall Foods that Benefit Your Skin and Hair