KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Weekly Wellness Weekly Wellness en-us Copyright 2019, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Thu, 17 Oct 2019 HH:10:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Weekly Wellness: Lets talk about blue light glasses https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-lets-talk-about-blue-light-glasses/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-lets-talk-about-blue-light-glasses/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 15 Oct 2019 11:25:03 AM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Lets talk about blue light glasses

COLUMBIA- Have you noticed advertisements for glasses that claim to filter out blue light from computers, smartphones and tablets? Yeah, me too (My husband is even wearing them while playing video games). The advertisements claim that overexposure to blue light can cause problems ranging from dry eye to digital eye strain, sleep disruption and macular degeneration. But here’s the thing: there is no evidence (at this time) that the kind or amount of light coming from computer screens is damaging to the eyes.

There is evidence that some kinds of light exposure can cause eye damage under certain conditions. For example, too much exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun does raise the risk of some eye diseases (including cataracts) and cancer. The amount of radiation coming from computer screens has never been demonstrated to cause any eye disease. The Radiation Protection Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology summarizes current research about computer monitors’ radiation saying “there are no data to suggest a health risk from exposure to the electromagnetic fields associated with the use of monitors.”

Staring at digital screens CAN cause eye strain and dry eyes (due to decreased blinking). You can protect your eyes from strain if you work with computers all day:

  • Sit about 25 inches (arm's length) from the computer screen. Position the screen so you are gazing slightly downward.
  • Reduce screen glare by using a matte screen filter if needed.
  • Take regular breaks using the “20-20-20” rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  • When your eyes feel dry, use artificial tears to refresh them.
  • Adjust your room lighting and try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.
  • If you wear contact lenses, give your eyes a break by wearing your glasses.

At this time, the American Academy of Ophthalmology does not recommend any special eye wear for computer use.

(Source:  https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/are-computer-glasses-worth-it)


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Weekly Wellness: October is Dental Hygiene Month https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-october-is-dental-hygiene-month/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-october-is-dental-hygiene-month/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 7 Oct 2019 4:26:05 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: October is Dental Hygiene Month

COLUMBIA- A beautiful smile is much more important than you think. The importance of proper dental care habits (like brushing and flossing) is bigger than just your smile. Oral health plays a critical role in some systemic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and oral health complications during pregnancy.

Diabetics are more prone to several oral health conditions, including tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, dry mouth and infection. Diabetic patients should contact their dentist immediately if they observe any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, including red, swollen or sore gums or gums that bleed easily or are pulling away from the teeth; chronic bad breath; teeth that are loose or separating; pus appearing between the teeth and gums; or changes in the alignment of the teeth.

Studies also have shown that periodontal disease may be linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, preterm births and low-birth weight babies. Research suggests that people with periodontal disease are nearly three times as likely to suffer from heart disease. Oral bacteria can affect the heart when it enters the blood stream, attaching to fatty plaques in the heart’s blood vessels and contributing to the formation of clots.

Pregnant women are at greater risk to develop inflamed gums, which if left untreated can lead to periodontal disease. A five-year study conducted at the University of North Carolina found that pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to deliver a premature, low-birth-weight baby.

Oral health problems can lead to difficulty speaking, chewing and swallowing, affecting your ability to consume the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy, participate in daily activities and interact with others. Poor nutrition also can lead to tooth decay and obesity. In a recent study, researchers examined 65 children, ages two through five, who were treated for cavities in their baby teeth. Nearly 28 percent of them had a body-mass index indicating they were either overweight or obese.

To keep your teeth, gums and body healthy:

  • Provide your dentist with a complete health history, including any illnesses and medication use.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to help remove plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that gets stuck between your teeth and under your gums.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and professional cleaning to help prevent any problems and detect possible problems in their early stages. The mouth is often the location used to diagnose a variety of diseases.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, which will help you maintain a healthier immune system, help prevent heart disease and slow diabetes disease progression.
  • If you smoke, talk to your dentist about options for quitting.


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Weekly Wellness: Signs You Might Be Stressed https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-signs-you-might-be-stressed/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-signs-you-might-be-stressed/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 30 Sep 2019 3:45:02 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Signs You Might Be Stressed

COLUMBIA- Everyone experiences stress. Stress is the body’s response to the mind’s perception of whatever we are going through. There are many different forms and levels of stress: financial troubles, relationships, health problems, work… there’s quite a list of things that can make us feel overwhelmed.

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system. Remember learning about fight or flight back in science class? This fight or flight response sends our body a signal that causes our brain to release chemicals and hormones. This can create actual physical signs that our stress level is too high.

The manifestation of stress can appear as:

1. Neck pain: Muscle tension is one of the first physical manifestations of stress, and it tends to be most pronounced at the base of the head.

2. Headaches: Stress is the most common cause of tension headaches, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also trigger other types of headaches, like migraines, or make an existing headache worse.

3. Nausea: Stress can have a wide range of GI consequences because digestion is often disrupted and slowed down when your nervous system is trying to cope with stress. Irritable bowel syndrome can also be linked to stress, and those with IBS tend to have colons that are more reactive to stress, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

4. Hair loss: Hair loss can occur due to really long sustained periods of high levels of stress. Experiencing a life-altering event, like a death of a loved one or a huge career change, can actually cause your hair to stop growing temporarily as your body dedicates its efforts to surviving.

5. Weight gain: High stress means high levels of cortisol coursing through our veins. Cortisol is a stress hormone that prompts us to eat and retain calories.

6. Acne: Cortisol surges can also lead to cystic acne.

7. Rapid heartbeat and chest pain: The release of cortisol and other stress hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) can cause a short-term increase in heart rate and blood pressure and cause chest pain. Over time, chronic stress can lead to cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association suggests that stress can cause high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, plus encourage other habits that are linked to heart disease like smoking, physical inactivity, and overeating.

8. Insomnia: When we are stressed out, we have a difficult time turning our brain off at night.

9. Getting sick more often: Research shows that stress impacts the immune system and makes us more prone to getting sick.

10. Irregular period: Too much cortisol can interfere with the sex hormones that regulate ovulation and make your period irregular.

11. Fatigue: If you're not sleeping well, you're probably walking around all day exhausted. When you're tired, you get more irritable and it's harder to cope mentally with stress, creating a vicious cycle.

Tried and true stress relievers like exercise, mediation, taking some time for yourself, and even massage or acupuncture, can help relieve tension and calm your mind and body.

 (Source: https://www.self.com/story/11-physical-signs-of-stress)

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Weekly Wellness: Are you properly hydrated? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-are-you-properly-hydrated-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-are-you-properly-hydrated-/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 23 Sep 2019 3:56:30 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Are you properly hydrated?

One of the most important things I counsel my clients on is hydration. There are so many important reasons to make sure you are properly hydrated. We all have heard the phrase “your body is made up of mostly water!” How true is this statement? Well, fairly accurate. Our bodies are primarily composed of 60% water and every major system is influenced by fluid balance.

Water is critically important to transport nutrients to organs and cells, carry toxins away, lubricates joints and bones, helps to regulate body temperature and impacts brain function. Without water, we will not survive.

The Institute of Medicine recommends 3.7 liters/day for adult men and 2.7 liters/day for adult women; however, you may need more if you’re physically active, breastfeeding and/or during the warmer months. It’s also important to keep in mind that water losses vary from person to person, and some people naturally need more fluid than others.

So what counts as hydration? It is recommended that 80% of hydration should come from fluids such as water, sparkling water, milk, tea. The last 20% can come from high-water foods:

  • Low-sodium beef/chicken/vegetable broth
  • Cucumber
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Bell peppers
  • Asparagus

Common signs of dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Brain fog, fatigue and irritability
  • Constipation
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes and dry skin
  • Reduced urine or sweat output
  • Headache, joint pain and cramps
  • Elevated body temperature

The tip I use with my clients is to have a reusable cup/water bottle so that you can monitor the amount of water you are drinking. Challenge yourself to finish your daily goal before the end of the workday. That way, anything you drink after work is sprinkles on top!

(Source: https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/essential-guide-to-hydration/)

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Weekly Wellness: Is There a Diet that Lowers Triglycerides? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-is-there-a-diet-that-lowers-triglycerides-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-is-there-a-diet-that-lowers-triglycerides-/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 16 Sep 2019 4:22:16 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Is There a Diet that Lowers Triglycerides?

COLUMBIA- As we age, we have to pay attention to things like cholesterol and triglycerides. So what exactly are they? Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. It is important to monitor triglyceride levels because more and more research is showing that their levels appear to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and possibly even more significant than cholesterol for both heart disease and stroke.

Your doctor can perform a simple blood test to determine your levels.

  • Normal — Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or less than 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)
  • Borderline high — 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L)
  • High — 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3 to 5.6 mmol)
  • Very high — 500 mg/dL or above (5.7 mmol/L or above)

If your doctor has mentioned that your triglyceride levels have elevated, consider cutting back on:

Saturated fats: Diets higher in most saturated fats seem to have more detrimental effects on blood lipid profiles. Limit these foods (i.e., butter, red meat, cheese) and choose more heart-healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.

Refined carbs: If your overall diet is more than 55% carbohydrate intake, you may be at greater risk for higher triglyceride levels. For optimal carbohydrate intake, avoid processed foods and stick to whole grains and vegetables that come packaged with vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Sugar: Limit foods high in added sugars like sodas, sports drinks and processed sweet treats.

Alcohol: Moderate drinkers may be at greater risk for higher triglycerides since excess calories in the bloodstream are converted into triglycerides. For many of us, those excess calories exist in the form of alcohol and can add up quickly.

Are there foods that might help to lower your triglyceride levels? YES! Time to add these items to your grocery list:

Fatty fish: Omega-3 fatty acids found in many fatty fish are effective at significantly lowering blood triglyceride levels. Options like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines all contain the daily recommended amount (2–4 grams/day) to help lower triglycerides.

Beans and legumes: These plant-based finds are high in fiber, protein, magnesium and potassium, all nutrients that have a positive impact (especially when replacing red meat) on blood lipid levels.

Blueberries: In addition to being a great source of antioxidants, blueberries are also high in pterostilbene, a compound that may reduce triglyceride and cholesterol blood levels as much as prescription drugs.

Olive oil: Substituting fats high in saturated fat like butter, palm oil, shortening (both found in lots of highly processed foods) and animal fats with oils high in monounsaturated fats (like olive and walnut oils) can help improve blood lipid profiles by lowering triglyceride levels and increasing good-for-you HDL cholesterol.

Spinach: This dark leafy green is one of the few food sources of alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that may help lower triglycerides.

(Source: https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/ask-the-rd-is-there-a-diet-to-lower-triglycerides/)

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Weekly Wellness: Seven Weight Loss Habits to Try https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-seven-weight-loss-habits-to-try/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-seven-weight-loss-habits-to-try/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 9 Sep 2019 5:08:40 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Seven Weight Loss Habits to Try

COLUMBIA- The summer can be a time of being more physically active – spending time in the sun, playing sports, spending time on the trail, riding bikes. As we head into fall and winter, we may not be getting as much exercise as we have been. This list of seven lifestyle habits could be just the trick to help you continue your weight-loss journey:

1. Prioritize protein at breakfast: Instead of eating a sugary breakfast or skipping your morning meal entirely, eat something with at least 20 grams of protein. A low-glycemic, protein-packed breakfast can keep you full and increase energy levels, according to a study from the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal.

2. Incorporate high-intensity workouts: All exercise requires effort, but there are some workouts that can help you accomplish more in a short amount of time. Research shows high-intensity exercise (short bouts of max-effort intervals), for instance, burns more calories than steady-state exercise performed for the same amount of time. For a high-intensity workout, you’ll want to be at 70–80% of your maximum heart rate, which you can calculate by subtracting your age from 220.

3. Keep an eating schedule: Using your circadian rhythm as a meal schedule may help. This means eating breakfast within a couple hours of waking and stop eating several hours before bed. Establishing meal schedules can help you stay fueled during the day, while preventing late-night snacking. The ratio of a circadian rhythm fast is essentially 13:11. You will fast for 13 hours and only eat during 11 hours.

4. Drink more water: Quenching your thirst can help you avoid overeating. In one study, overweight people who drank two glasses of water before their meals every day for three months lost an average of 2.6 more pounds than people who didn’t hydrate prior to eating. To stay hydrated throughout the day, carry a reusable water bottle with you or set a timer every hour as a reminder to consume a glass.

5. Walk for 30 minutes every day: Try turning your work commute into walking time or breaking your walk into smaller chunks after your meals. In one study, Type 2 diabetes patients who walked after each of their three meals experienced greater weight loss than participants who exercised once a day for the same amount of time.

6. Add seeds to your diet: Like protein, fiber is another nutrient that can help promote satiety. Some sources recommend that women should try to consume 25 grams of fiber per day, and men should aim for 35 grams. How can we do this? You can add chia seeds and ground flaxseeds to your yogurt, smoothies and salads. Other good fiber-rich snacks include edamame, almonds and avocado.

7. Reorganize your plate: Changing the way you load your plate can help you fuel up on healthier foods, score more nutrients and prevent overeating. If you look at your empty plate, think about it in quadrants: half of your plate should be veggies/fruits. The rest of your plate should be 1/4 protein (20–30 grams), and 1/4 carbs (choose carbs that are whole grains like quinoa, whole-wheat bread and brown rice). Whole grains have more nutrients than their refined counterparts, and may help regulate your blood sugar better, which can prevent appetite swings.

Try some (or all) of these tips and see what helps you!

(Source https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/7-habits-that-can-help-you-lose-weight/)

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Weekly Wellness: Symptoms of Anxiety https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-symptoms-of-anxiety/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-symptoms-of-anxiety/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 3 Sep 2019 12:42:28 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Symptoms of Anxiety

COLUMBIA- The first day of school jitters. Isn't that what they were called? When I felt like everything in my brain was on fast-forward. My heart would be pounding (practically audibly) in chest. I would have to rub my palms across the thighs of my pants. Anxiety.

Fight or flight. That’s where all of this is coming from. Back when we were cavemen, we would have to be on high-alert and fight or flee to survive. Our worlds have evolved but our brains are still back there in the cave listening for the predator.

Feeling anxious is a totally normal emotion. Feeling nervous before a presentation or an interview or taking a test or making an important decision. And anxiety can present itself in one (or more) physical ways:

1. Your heart is racing. When you’re dealing with something stressful and your adrenal glands release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, receptors in your heart react by speeding up your heartbeat. This enables you to pump more blood to your big muscles so you could theoretically flee or combat a threat.

2. You’re short of breath. Your blood circulates oxygen around your body. When your stress response boosts how quickly you’re sending blood around your body, your breathing might increase to provide you with more oxygen. If you breathe too quickly (hyperventilation), you can actually enhance physical anxiety symptoms because your oxygen/carbon dioxide balance gets out of whack.

3. You’re constantly exhausted. A persistent feeling of fatigue is a common sign of anxiety, according to the NIMH. Stress hormones can keep you on high alert, which can be physically draining.

4. You can’t fall asleep, stay asleep, are restless during the night, or wake up feeling drained. A person with anxiety might have a tough time falling asleep, staying asleep, or might have restless and unsatisfying sleep. Elevated levels of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline make it hard to get a good night’s sleep. To add insult to injury, sleep issues such as insomnia can make you more prone to anxiety, too, the Mayo Clinic explains.

5. Your muscles ache. Your muscles tense up as part of your stress response. Holding parts of your body so rigidly for prolonged periods can lead to pain. People with anxiety report feeling tight in their necks, backs, or shoulders. You might also feel muscle tension all the way up into your head, leading to headaches.

6. Your stomach is all sorts of messed up. People with anxiety may notice general stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, or other kinds of GI distress. The gut-brain axis is a communication system between your brain and the enteric nervous system that governs your digestion.

7. Your palms are dripping sweat. When your sympathetic nervous system gets activated, it can influence the sweat glands basically all over your body. We all have sweat glands that can cause anxiety-induced perspiration.

8. You're shaky and easily startled. Shaking and trembling can be a byproduct of anxiety-induced hormone surges, according to the NIMH. Also, trying to anticipate unknown threats is a common feature of anxiety. Constantly being on guard has been linked with an increased “startle response.”

9. You have a hard time swallowing. Anxiety can cause some people to feel tightness in their throats or even like something is stuck in there, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This is called globus sensation.

10. You come down with a lot of colds. Your immune system doesn’t function as well when your fight-or-flight response is operating for too long, according to the Mayo Clinic. This could mean that you’re more susceptible to issues such as the common cold.

There is a difference between anxiety and the experience of anxiety disorder(s), which can be much more serious. You should seek medical attention if:

  • You feel like you're worrying too much and it's interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life
  • Your fear, worry or anxiety is upsetting to you and difficult to control
  • You feel depressed, have trouble with alcohol or drug use, or have other mental health concerns along with anxiety
  • You think your anxiety could be linked to a physical health problem
  • You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors — if this is the case, seek emergency treatment immediately

(Source: https://www.self.com/story/physical-anxiety-symptoms)

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Weekly Wellness: The Correct Way to Freeze Food https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-the-correct-way-to-freeze-food/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-the-correct-way-to-freeze-food/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 27 Aug 2019 6:47:11 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: The Correct Way to Freeze Food

COLUMBIA- If you’re like me, meal prep and freezer meals can be a real life saver. But is there a right and wrong way to freeze foods? Yes, there is. Here are some tips from experts about what we may be doing wrong when it comes to freezing certain foods:

  • Freezing the wrong foods. Some tender salad greens (i.e. lettuce, mesclun) and watery veggies (i.e. cabbage, celery, cucumbers, endive, parsley, radishes) tend to become limp and water-logged which can negatively impact their flavor and texture. Baked or boiled potatoes become soft, crumbly and waterlogged (ewww). Also, never freeze plain pasta – but if it’s coated in sauce, it fairs better. Pastas and casseroles hold up well, too.
  • Not freezing food quickly enough. When food freezes quickly there is less damage to the cell wall which can results in flavor and texture issues. If you defrost something and it’s really mushy, it probably froze too slowly. Freezing foods in smaller pieces can help. Also, it’s important to make sure that air can circulate around the food when it is first placed in the freezer.
  • Putting hot food straight into the freezer. Putting hot food directly into the freezer is a no-go! It can bring down the temperature of the freezer and accidentally partially defrost whatever else you have in there. Repeated melting and freezing can cause bacteria growth and mess with both the texture and flavor of foods.
  • Washing certain fruits and vegetables right before freezing them. The wetter a food is when you put it in the freezer, the greater the chance of freezer burn. Especially with fruits and vegetables. If you want to freeze these items, wash them and allow them to completely dry before putting them in the freezer.
  • Not blanching produce ahead of time. Most vegetables need to be blanched before they’re frozen in order to stop the enzymatic decay process (the process responsible for deteriorating flavor, color and texture). Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, cook your veggie for a couple of minutes (until the color is more vibrant and texture more firm), let them cool by plunging them into ice water, drain and then put them in the freezer.
  • Freezing fruit in big clumps. Spread out your fruit on a baking sheet or tray, pop it into the freezer for a few hours then put the already-frozen fruit into bags. No big clumps!
  • Not freezing food in the right containers. Freezing food in airtight containers is the key to preserving their quality. The more air your food has access to, the more likely it is to dry out or develop freezer burn. Try freezer bags or a vacuum-packing system.
  • Overpacking food containers. It’s important to pack all of your food with about ½ inch to 1.5 inch of space left on top. Freezing causes foods to expand so you want to give your food enough space to expand without breaking its storage vessel.
  • Leaving food in the freezer for too long. Foods packaged in plastic storage containers or freezer bags will usually only last two or three months. Make sure to write the date and food on the item when you freeze it so you know when to pitch it!

 (Source: https://www.self.com/story/mistakes-freezing-food)

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Weekly Wellness: Are Natural Sugars Different than Added Ones? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-are-natural-sugars-different-than-added-ones-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-are-natural-sugars-different-than-added-ones-/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 19 Aug 2019 1:13:55 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Are Natural Sugars Different than Added Ones?

COLUMBIA- We have discussed the topic of sugar many times on Weekly Wellness. We have talked about limiting sugars and why it’s important to pay attention to food labels. This week, we’re going to discuss the difference between “naturally occurring” sugars and “added” sugars. Because there IS a difference.

Simply put: added sugar is any sugar that was added to a food at some point (i.e. sugars that are added to food items during the manufacturing process in the form of granulated sugar, molasses, brown sugar). Naturally occurring sugar is already in the food naturally (i.e. sugars in fruits, dairy products, some vegetables, etc.)

Added sugars are most obviously found in things like pastries, cookies, ice creams, candy, sodas, muffins, cakes.  It’s the items that we don’t really think about that it can sneak up on us – did you know that sugar is added to products like salad dressing, crackers, pasta sauces, etc.?

On a molecular level, there are two main kinds of sugars. The first is monosaccharides (single sugar molecules) which include fructose, galactose and glucose. These go directly into the bloodstream after you eat them. The second is disaccharides, which are two single sugar molecules linked together. There is sucrose (glucose + fructose); lactose (glucose + galactose); maltose (glucose + glucose). These get quickly broken down by the liver into single glucose molecules before entering the bloodstream – so they raise your blood sugar slightly more slowly.

There is so much information about sugar that it really is challenging to distinguish what is supposed to be good and bad. The bottom line is this: it’s easier to get more nutritional value and hard to consume excessive amounts of sugar from foods with only or mostly naturally occurring sugars. While a cup of yogurt is not the same as a donut, sugar is sugar. Still confused? Yea, me too.

(Source: https://www.self.com/story/how-different-are-naturally-occurring-sugars-really-from-added-ones)

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Weekly Wellness: Let's prevent eye injuries https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-let-s-prevent-eye-injuries/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-let-s-prevent-eye-injuries/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 12 Aug 2019 12:16:39 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Let's prevent eye injuries

COLUMBIA- Our eyes are so important! And, at times, I worry that we don’t pay attention to how easy it is to harm them. Here is a list of some very common (and preventable) eye injuries.

  • Sleeping in your contacts can lead to part of your eye ripping off. The leading cause of eye injuries is overwearing contact lenses. When you sleep, you’re not blinking. Blinking is essential to dispersing basal tears over the eye. Sleeping in contact lenses will suck the moisture from our eyes.
  • Sleeping in your contacts can give you eye ulcers. Sleeping in your contacts can lead to corneal inflammation called keratitis as a result of reduced oxygen flow. If not treated quickly enough, keratitis can spiral into a corneal ulcer.
  • Ignoring dry eyes can lead to dry and scratched eyes. Letting a severe case of dry eye go untreated can lead to injury-induced scratches on your cornea. These corneal abrasions can cause pain and feel like tearing, redness, sensitivity to light and headaches.
  • Not wearing safety goggles in situations that lead to debris-related injuries. Activities like racquetball, mowing the lawn, playing with Nerf guns. Really any activities that can send tiny objects flying through the air can become projectiles that come flying at your eyeballs! Wear protective eyewear just in case.
  • Not wearing sunglasses to protect your eyeballs from sunburn. Ultraviolet keratitis is a sunburn that happens to your cornea and conjunctiva (the membrane that covers the front surface of the eye). And this doesn’t just happen on sunny days. This can happen when it’s cloudy or overcast, or when you’re near snow, ice, sand and water. Wear your shades!

We need our eyes to last us a long time. Take care of them.

 (Source: https://www.self.com/story/preventable-eye-injuries)

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Weekly Wellness: How to treat mosquito bites https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-how-to-treat-mosquito-bites/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-how-to-treat-mosquito-bites/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 6 Aug 2019 10:38:44 AM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: How to treat mosquito bites

COLUMBIA- It’s a fairly normal experience in Missouri during the summer – mosquito bites. Ugh! Mosquito bites cause an intense itchiness because our bodies release histamine, a compound involved in the body’s immune response. Specifically, there are proteins in the mosquitoes’ saliva that trigger our skin to get that ugly, itchy red bump.

In many cases, the mosquito bites will clear up in a few days and are totally annoying but nothing serious. The older we get, the less likely we are to develop a serious reaction from the bites. While everyone is different, these remedies might help:

  • Try using calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Calamine lotion is formulated to relieve itching and discomfort while hydrocortisone cream can help reduce swelling, redness, and itching.
  • Use a cold compress. Applying an ice pack or a col, wet cloth to the bites can help. The cold temperature causes the dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin to narrow, limiting inflammation.
  • Moisturize regularly. When skin is dry it is more prone to irritation and itchiness. Use a gentle cream or lotion daily – when getting out of the shower or bath.
  • Take an OTC antihistamine. If you’re really struggling, taking an antihistamine can help. An oral antihistamine starts to work within an hour and aims to have a 24-hour effect. Talk with your doctor.
  • Mix a baking soda paste. A great DYI solution is combining four parts baking soda to one part water and apply the paste to those itchy spots.

If these remedies fail or your symptoms intensify (i.e. fever, joint pain, red eyes, headache, fatigue), contact your physician.

(Source: https://www.self.com/story/how-to-treat-mosquito-bites)

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Weekly Wellness: Is summer depression a thing? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-is-summer-depression-a-thing-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-is-summer-depression-a-thing-/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 29 Jul 2019 1:37:25 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Is summer depression a thing?

COLUMBIA- It’s fairly common to address Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter. But did you know that there is depression that is experienced in the summertime too?

Summertime sadness can manifest in many ways. Some people wait for summer and then realize that they had fantasized about it. Thinking that they would do a list of things that don’t materialize. Some people just hate summer – it’s hot and sweaty and stinky and sluggish. It feels like everyone around you is having a great time while you want to sit at home in front of a fan.

Similar to SAD, there is summer-onset seasonal affective disorder (or summer SAD). This disorder follows a seasonal pattern specific to spring and summer. While experts don’t know exactly what’s going on when seasonal changes send moods out of whack, there are theories.

No matter the reason for your sad feelings, taking care of yourself and tending to your moods is important. Here are some tips:

  • Acknowledge that it is a thing. Seasonal depression is real. Talk with your physician and learn as much as you can.
  • Drop the “supposed to.” As a kid, we expect summer to mean beaches or pool parties or bbq’s or fireworks, etc. Sometimes we feel pressure to make our adult lives live up to the hype of our childhood summers. But why? Maybe your ideal summer is to stay out of the sun and enjoy the TV. If that’s the case, go for it! Try not to focus on what you’re “supposed to” want to do and do what you enjoy!
  • Be proactive about meeting expectations. People can have certain expectations for the summer and also have the ability to meet them – but they don’t. That’s ok! Life doesn’t stop for summer. Don’t let yourself down by expectations.
  • Stay cool. Various studies have linked high temperatures with depression and agitated moods and increased mental health emergencies. Pay attention to the physical stress that heat can put on the body.
  • Limit your exposure to light. Even though sunlight and light therapy can commonly be suggested to ease depression symptoms, believe it or not, for some people light has the opposite effect. There are a number of reasons by someone might have an adverse reaction to increased light (i.e. health issues) but reaction to light could be another culprit to summer sadness.
  •  Try not to isolate yourself. Social contact is important to mental health. Summer can be a particularly difficult time for dealing with loneliness and isolation. If merely being around people doesn’t do the trick, try to participate in summer sports leagues, classes, etc.
  • Know when you need help. Tips like these may not be enough. Depression is depression – if you recognize what you are experiencing is depression, seek help from a medical professional.

 (Source: https://www.self.com/story/summer-depression-tips)

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Weekly Wellness: Stop the negative self-talk! https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-stop-the-negative-self-talk-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-stop-the-negative-self-talk-/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 22 Jul 2019 5:39:48 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Stop the negative self-talk!

COLUMBIA- Do you have that one friend who is constantly self-critical? You constantly hear phrases such as “I can’t do anything right!” and “I am so stupid!” It is incredibly easy to allow that negatives self-talk to enter our daily communication. In doing so, we increase our stress and anxiety and reduce our self-esteem.

Shifting our language takes practice. In place of negative commentary, we need to find an alternative that doesn’t promote suffering. We need alternatives that are kind, honest, helpful and unbiased.

  • “I’m an idiot.” We are allowed to make mistakes. And mistakes allow us to learn. Instead of referring to our amazing self as an “idiot” maybe we declare that we aren’t understanding right now but we will learn.
  • “I should be _____ right now.” It’s so easy to compare our lives to the lives of others. The “should’s” and the “could’s” can take over. Instead of focusing on the negative, let’s spin it. Rephrase would be “I could be ___ but I’m choosing ____ instead.”
  • “It’s all my fault.” When we look at a situation and we don’t recognize that rationally we are not responsible for the actions of others, it can create turmoil. The truth is that others are responsible for their own choices and we are responsible for our own.
  • “I never should have…” Regret is incredibly powerful. It occurs when we look back at things we did or failed to do. We beat ourselves up for our action or inaction. It sucks! Instead of focusing on the negative, let’s try to consider the benefits from the situation. What did we learn? What did we experience?
  • “They must think I’m _______.” When we assume that we know what other people are thinking or feeling about us, we can easily assume they are negative. We berate ourselves based on our assumptions of someone else. Not good! If we can switch our language to focus on the facts rather than assumptions, we feel better. 
  • “Why can’t I be like them?” We really don’t benefit from comparing ourselves to others. If we compare ourselves to others, we can create our own suffering. Instead, we need to view our lives as cooperation (not a competition).

 (Source: https://www.self.com/story/negative-self-talk-phrases-to-cut-out-of-your-vocabulary)

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Weekly Wellness: Why can't I remember anything? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-why-can-t-i-remember-anything-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-why-can-t-i-remember-anything-/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 15 Jul 2019 4:51:37 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Why can't I remember anything?

COLUMBIA- Have you ever found yourself in the middle of telling a story and just can’t remember that one crucial detail… or you just can’t remember that one word? You know, that word that is the easiest word! What the heck is wrong with my brain???” Random lapses in memory can be quite common. In a 2014 study, 14.4% of the 4,425 persons age 18 to 39 self-reported having memory issues.

These days with all of the talk of Alzheimer’s and brain tumors, it’s easy to let our thoughts go to a scary place. But let’s pump the brakes and explore some other potential reasons:

  • Your working memory may be overloaded. Short-term memory storage (aka working memory) is limited. Working memory can only contain so much information at a time.
  • Your brain is aging. The older we get, the more we can experience memory issues. Word retrieval deficit (the word is in your head but your mouth isn’t getting it) isn’t necessarily concerning – just frustrating and a little bit annoying.
  • You’re dealing with depression. There is a theory that brain changes can be connected to depression and may specifically influence memory. Glutamate (a neurotransmitter that is central to memory) may be implicated in depression. Also, research reviews have shown that people with depression are more likely to have decreased volume in their hippocampus (the part of the brain which creates and stores new memories).
  • Your medication could be doing it. Some medication can cause you to feel groggy and cause forgetfulness. Ask your physician or pharmacist.
  • You’re not getting enough sleep. Getting enough sleep can truly impact your brain functionality. While you sleep, your brain is creating and maintaining pathways that help you to learn and make new memories. If you don’t get enough REM and non-REM sleep, you are doing your brain a disservice.
  • You have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of ADHD, discuss with your physician.
  • You (may) have something more serious. If you have explored all other possibilities and you still feel you are experiencing memory issues, it may be time to discuss dementia with your physician.

If you are experiencing memory lapses, pay attention to the other factors in your life and don’t let panic set in. For me, sleep tends to be the culprit.

 (Source: https://www.self.com/story/memory-lapse-causes)

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Weekly Wellness: Why am I waking up all night? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-why-am-i-waking-up-all-night-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-why-am-i-waking-up-all-night-/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 8 Jul 2019 3:46:20 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Why am I waking up all night?

COLUMBIA- Sleep is a topic I revisit often because it is so important. I know, personally, if I don’t get enough sleep it is detrimental to my entire day. I am someone who recognizes that I need 7 hours of sleep at a minimum and if I don’t get it, look out!

There are a number of health issues that are impacted by sleep (or lack of it). Sleep is when your body heals and repairs itself – your heart and blood vessels, specifically. Because of this, ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

If you are having a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep, one of these might be the culprit:

  1. Your room is too hot, too cold, too noisy, too bright. Did you know that seeping occurs in stages? It’s true. There are stages 1, 2, 3 and 4. The lightest sleep stage is 1 – so if you have a difficult time getting to sleep in stage 1, you’re probably most affected by factors like noises, temperature and lights. The best sleeping conditions are a dark, cool, quiet room.
  2. You have anxiety. Trouble sleeping is one of the most common symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Did you know that? And there is also a terrifying-sounding thing called a nocturnal panic attack (which I hope to never experience).
  3. Your bladder can’t wait until morning. Have you heard of nocturia? 23% of women and 29% of men surveyed have it. This condition is defined as having to get up at least once each night to pee. There are a number of potential causes – drinking too late in the day, urinary tract infections, untreated diabetes, etc. If you think you may be experiencing this due to an uncontrolled reason (like drinking too much too late), consult your physician.
  4. You drank some booze. Alcohol can mess with our sleep stages and cause fitful sleep. It is recommended to stop imbibing three hours before your usual bedtime.
  5. You may have sleep apnea. If you are forced awake by feelings of not being able to breathe, sleep apnea may be to blame. With obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles in the throat relax too much which causes a narrowed airway which causes your oxygen levels to drop. If you think you may have sleep apnea, consult your physician.
  6. You may have an overactive thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism has a list of common symptoms including increased heart rate, sweating (at night), anxiety, tremors and… trouble sleeping. There are treatments. If you suspect you might have hyperthyroidism, consult your physician.
  7. You ate too late or not enough. Eating. You have to time it perfectly! If you eat too late, insomnia can occur due to acid reflux or heartburn. Eat too early? You could experience a crampy, hungry tummy and a blood sugar issue.
  8. You may have restless leg syndrome. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a condition where your lower extremities can ache, throb, itch, etc. It creates this uncontrollable need to move your legs – at night. It can wreak havoc on your sleep. If you are experiencing these symptoms, consult your physician.

(Source: https://www.self.com/story/waking-up-at-night-reasons)

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Weekly Wellness: Plants that HELP with allergies https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-plants-that-help-with-allergies/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-plants-that-help-with-allergies/ Weekly Wellness Wed, 3 Jul 2019 4:16:56 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Plants that HELP with allergies

COLUMBIA- Well, folks, depending upon what type of allergies you suffer from, we may just be in the middle of the season (tree pollen: late March to April, then grass pollen: around May then, weed pollen: July to August, and ragweed pollen: late August to the first frost. If you are an allergy sufferer, I know you are trying EVERYTHING for relief (just like me). So I was surprised to learn that I could potentially get relief from my choice of houseplants.

But there are lots more reasons to pick up some plants. They can help you ward off colds and flu and get a more restful night's sleep, and keep your home cool during the warmer months ahead. It should come as no surprise then that indoor plants can also help ease allergy symptoms by trapping dust, filtering household air, and more. If you're an allergy sufferer, try one of these expert picks.

1. Dracaena

The dracaena absorbs allergens from the air and traps them in its leaves. If you choose this plant, keep in mind that it can grow to be larger so you’ll need to prune it regularly. It will need moderate sun exposure.

2. Bamboo Palm

The bamboo palm is a tropical houseplant that's very effective at improving air quality. It can filter out carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, xylene, and even carbon. It also has strong insect-repellent capabilities! It requires bright but indirect sunlight and needs to be watered regularly.

3. Dracaena Marginata Colorama

The marginata plant can purify the air from chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene and also helps control humidity in your home. This low-maintenance plant can survive in low light and doesn't need to be watered constantly.

4. Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera daisies help filter out benzene, a harmful chemical compound that is found in common irritants such as pesticides, paints, dyes, and tobacco smoke. They are relatively easy and need direct sunlight.

5. English Ivy

A preliminary study found that English ivy can greatly reduce the amount of mold spores in the air.

If you have a green thumb and allergies, maybe you’ll try to grow some of these beauties!

(Source: https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Best-Houseplants-Allergy-Sufferers-46079955)

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Weekly Wellness: Are you fit enough to travel? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-are-you-fit-enough-to-travel-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-are-you-fit-enough-to-travel-/ Weekly Wellness Wed, 3 Jul 2019 4:16:07 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Are you fit enough to travel?

COLUMBIA- You have worked your whole life and you are ready to enjoy it. Maybe one of your goals is to travel. See new things, experience new cultures, visit different states and/or countries! And I want you to be able to do this without any worries about your physical ability to do it.

A survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that more than half of people 65 years and older are “physically inactive.” And when AARP conducted a survey of baby boomers and asked them specifically what was keeping them from taking trips, the second-most-common barrier was “health” (behind cost). The take away of this information is that we have a society of unfit older people who would like to travel.

Traveling in and of itself can be a physically taxing thing. Lots of walking, carrying bags, hoisting bags overhead, side-stepping into a plane row… should I continue? We haven’t even gotten to our destination and I’m already tired! Then, I’m sure that once you arrive, you’ll want to do some tours (walking, maybe?) to see the sights? Maybe some of those sights will have steeper stairs or no handrails.

If you are hoping to do some traveling, it would be beneficial to get into a fitness routine. If you are starting from a relatively sedentary place, it is recommended that you commit to two 60-minute strength sessions per week for a minimum of 8 weeks before your scheduled vacation. If you can’t afford a one-on-one personal trainer, look into group fitness classes that incorporate strength training, balance work and functional training.

The benefits of a travel preparation fitness program are:

  • More ability to enjoy a wider variety of vacation activities
  • Lower risk of injury and muscle soreness
  • Higher energy for exploring and engaging with your destination
  • More adventure memories
  • Greater ability to get to places

I hope you have some travel in your future. If you need some assistance, come and see me!

(Source: https://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/fit-to-travel-training-tips-and-exercises-to-prepare-seniors-for-active-vacations)

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Weekly Wellness: Arthritis Options https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-arthritis-options/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-arthritis-options/ Weekly Wellness Wed, 3 Jul 2019 3:25:11 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Arthritis Options

COLUMBIA- Did you know that more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some form of arthritis? It's true. Most of us have heard of arthritis or know someone who has it (including ourselves) but many of us don't really understand it.

Did you know that arthritis isn't a singular disease? The term is used to refer to joint pain or joint diseases, however, there are over 100 different types of arthritis (and related conditions). Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time.

Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America? Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which affects an estimated 31 million Americans.

When it comes to treating arthritis, many doctors prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Some of us can’t take these regularly, for various reasons. Or some of us simply don’t want to have to take an oral medication often for relief. Enter: the topical NSAID.

A topical NSAID is a form of NSAID that is in a cream form that is applied directly to the skin. The drug penetrates the skin, enters the joint and reduces pain signals. The level of drug entering the bloodstream is much lower which can, in turn, minimize the risk of side effects.

So, who should use topical NSAIDs? They are best for people with only a few painful joints. People with arthritis in multiple joints seem to be better with oral NSAIDs (as applying the topical to multiple locations could cause the user to exceed the recommended dose). Also, anyone with heart or kidney disease, allergic reactions to NSAIDs or open heart surgery should not use topical NSAIDs.

Topical NSAIDs are particularly good for hand, knee or elbow arthritis (since these joints are relatively close to the skin’s surface).

If you have arthritis and are interested in trying a topical NSAID, talk to your doctor.

(Source: arthritis.org)

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Weekly Wellness: Let's talk about posture https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-let-s-talk-about-posture/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-let-s-talk-about-posture/ Weekly Wellness Wed, 3 Jul 2019 1:26:13 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Let's talk about posture

COLUMBIA- We know that having good posture is important, but why? Good posture is important to balance. Balance is important for many reasons. When applying good balance to exercise or activities, it's important because it allows you to maintain correct form, which can result in fewer injuries and greater gains.

Physical reasons for poor posture include:

  • Inflexible muscles that decrease range of motion. For example, overly tight, shortened hip muscles tug your upper body forward and disrupt your posture. Overly tight chest muscles can pull your shoulders forward.
  • Muscle strength affects balance. The "core muscles" (back, side, pelvis, and buttocks) form a sturdy central link between your upper and lower body. Weak core muscles encourage slumping, which tips your body forward and thus off balance. Strong lower leg muscles also help keep you steady when standing.

So what IS good posture?

  • chin parallel to the floor
  • shoulders even (roll your shoulders up, back, and down to help achieve this)
  • neutral spine (no flexing or arching to overemphasize the curve in your lower back)
  • arms at your sides with elbows straight and even
  • abdominal muscles braced
  • hips even
  • knees even and pointing straight ahead
  • body weight distributed evenly on both feet

Pectoral Massage: Begin by rolling the shoulders back and down. Make a fist with the right hand and gently press the knuckles into the left pectoral muscle next to the sternum. Place the palm of the left hand on top of the fist for added pressure. Slowly drive the knuckles across the muscle toward the shoulder joint. Lift the hand, returning it to the starting position, and repeat.

Shoulder External Rotations: Internal rotation is a common problem. External rotation can help. Roll the shoulders back and down. Tuck the pelvis slightly to maintain a neutral lower-back position throughout the exercise. Slowly twist the wrists until the thumbs point away from the body. Hold for a few seconds and release; repeat.

Chin Tuck: This exercise stretches the muscles of the neck, allowing the skull to return to a more neutral, balanced position while the spine is lengthened. Stand with your hips and shoulders against a wall. Heels can be an inch or two away from the wall. Lifting through the crown of the head, gently bring the chin down toward the throat while pressing the back of the head against the wall for a few seconds. Rest and repeat. Place a pillow behind the head if the pressure is uncomfortable.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch: Start in a kneeling lunge position (one knee on the floor and the other leg bent 90 degrees in front of you with foot flat). Lift from the crown of the head to elongate the spine. From here, drive the hip of the kneeling leg in a gentle thrusting pattern to achieve the stretch. Hold for a few seconds, then release and repeat. Perform the exercise several times for both hips. Place a pillow under the knee for added cushion.

Hip Hinge with Fly: This exercise improves your ability to extend your upper back. Place feet hip-width apart, and hinge at the hips while simultaneously angling the upper body forward. Aim to slightly arch the lower back by lifting the tailbone. Retract and depress the shoulder blades. Start with the arms extended and palms clasped together directly in front of the chest. Then slowly swing the arms out to the sides of the body at about shoulder height with a slight external shoulder rotation, and pause when you feel contraction in the upper posterior muscles and a stretch in the pectorals. Release and repeat.

(Source: https://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/simple-exercises-to-improve-posture)






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Weekly Wellness: (inexpensive) muscle-building foods https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-inexpensive-muscle-building-foods/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-inexpensive-muscle-building-foods/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 21 May 2019 3:58:06 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: (inexpensive) muscle-building foods

COLUMBIA - When someone is trying to get healthier and stronger, one of the most important things we (as trainers) look at is: what is my client eating? Sure, we want you to stop eating fast food (in most cases) and cut out the soda (sorry), but we aren't expecting you to completely change your food budget to include pricey items like "organic" everything and/or fancy supplements.

We want you to get nutrient-dense, efficient, protein-rich/low-calorie foods that won't break the bank. These are a good start:

Beans: One half-cup of black beans contains 7.5 grams of protein, but it also contains more iron than a three-ounce flank steak. Certain beans, like red kidney beans, have just as many antioxidants as dark berries and pomegranate juice.

Price: Approximately $1.30 for 15-oz. can

Canned Tuna: A 5-ounce can contains about 26 grams of protein for just 120 calories.

Price: $1.69-$5.99 (for wild-caught) per can

Frozen Edamame: Edamame is a shelled soybean with just 180 calories and 18 grams of protein in one cup. Plus, it’s an excellent source of iron and calcium, and contains a third of your daily value of fiber.

Price: $2.99-$3.59 for a 12-oz. bag

Greek Yogurt: One 5.3-ounce container of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt has just 150 calories and 20 grams of protein. Put it in your smoothies and/or use it as a replacement for sour cream on tacos or potatoes!

Price: $1.19 for 5.3 oz.

Chuck Roast: This lean cut of beef has 182 calories, six grams of fat, and 29 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving.

Price: Approximately $5.40/lb

Lentils: One cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber, and iron.

Price: $2.29-$2.49 for 16-oz. bag (dried lentils)

Cottage Cheese: One half-cup of one percent fat cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein and just 80 calories, and it’s also rich in bone-building calcium.

Price: $4.29-$5.99 for 16-oz. container

Eggs: The new USDA Dietary Guidelines now state that eating dietary cholesterol doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels. (Hooray for eggs!) One large egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, and 6 grams of protein for just 70 calories. They also contain the amino acid leucine, which helps stimulate muscle growth.

Price: Approximately $1.50/dozen large eggs

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