Older & Wiser with Sue Grant

Posts in the Sue Grant category

The Surprising Benefits of Colorful Produce!

I just read a fascinating article about the benefits of colorful produce in one of my favorite health publications –  Berkeley Wellness.  I don’t pretend to be a registered dietitian, but I thought you might enjoy reading about the unique benefits we get from different colors of fruits and vegetables.  For the details, I encourage you to check out Berkeleywellness.com.

We all assume that colorful fruits and vegetables are “good for us,” but it’s fun to learn about each individual color’s specific benefits.  Here goes!

RED

Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon and guava contain something called lycopene, a red pigment.  Lycopene may inhibit the growth of cancer cells in various ways.  Who knew?

RED, PURPLE AND BLUE

Blueberries, strawberries, beets, eggplant, red and blue grapes, red cabbage, plums, red apples and cherries contain potent antioxidants that provide a reddish blue color.  These antioxidants may help protect against heart disease.  What a delicious way to keep your heart healthy!

ORANGE

Acorn and butternut squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, apricots, carrots, mangoes and cantaloupe contain alpha and beta carotene, which provide an orange color.  As an antioxidant, beta carotene helps mop up free radicals that may promote cancer.  Alpha carotene intake has been linked with a reduced risk of various cancers, including lung and cervical cancer.  Go, carotenes!

ORANGE-YELLOW

Peaches, oranges, tangerines, nectarines and papayas are rich in beta cryptoxanthin.  (I have no idea how to pronounce that……).  But it must be great, because in addition to acting as an antioxidant, this pigment may help suppress the growth of tumor cells, as in cervical cancer. What’s not to love?

YELLOW-GREEN

Corn, cucumbers (with skin) green beans, green peas, yellow and green peppers, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, romaine lettuce and spinach contain lutein and zeaxanthin,  two carotenoids that seem to protect eye  health.  They may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which can cause loss of vision.  So much for our outdated assumption that only carrots that are good for our eyes!

So, think COLOR when you shop for and eat produce!  The darker and richer the colors, the better.   Pale plant foods such as bananas, pears, and cauliflower also have their share of phytochemicals, and well and vitamins and minerals, so don’t feel like you have to eliminate them from your diet.  But after learning about the impressive benefits of each color, you’ll want to include highly colored produce in every meal and snack.  Enjoy the colorful spectrum!

 

Sue Grant holds numerous certifications within the health and wellness industry.

  • Certified as a personal trainer by the ACE
  • Certified as a Master Instructor for the FallProof Program
  • Certified by the Arthritis Foundation
  • Certified in Older Adult Fitness by the American Institute of Fitness Educators

Sue has also studied personal training and group fitness through U.C. San Diego’s Fitness Professional Certificate program. Click here to find her collection of DVDs.

2 Surprising Myths About Fat That'll Make You Rethink Your Diet

Fat Chance!  I just read a fascinating article by registered dietitian Matthew Kadey in the June 2019 issue of Idea Fitness Journal concerning  some common myths and realities about fat in foods.  You might be surprised  by these findings– read on!

The Myth:  Fat-Free or Low Fat is Healthier

The Reality: The low fat-craze led to the formulation of thousands of lower-fat products, from yogurt to cookies.  However, fat tastes good, so when it is removed or reduced from a food, it loses a lot of its flavor.  To make up for this loss of flavor, manufacturers often add artificial flavors, salt, and sugar –not exactly a nutritional bonus!
Bottom Line: As long as you don’t overindulge, it’s better to enjoy foods in their natural, full-fat state.

 

The Myth:  Coconut oil is a “Super-food”

The Reality:  Often demonized for its upper-high saturated fat content (91% of its calories) coconut oil has experienced a renaissance.  Its supporters claim that it can help with building muscles, losing weight, improving heart, liver and kidney helps, and even taming frizzy hair! 
But coconut oil is not nearly the health boosting, fat-fighting miracle that its fans want it to be.
“There’s no strong evidence directly tying coconut oil either to a greater or reduced risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Patrick Wilson, RD, PhD, assistant professor of exercises at Old Dominion University.
Officials at the American Heart Association still say we should steer clear of coconut oil, citing concerns about its potential impact on cardiovascular health (Sacks et al.2017).
Bottom Line:  If you like the flavor or the moistness it adds to baked goods, it’s probably fine to include modest amounts (no more than a tablespoon daily) as part of a healthy eating plan.

 

I’ll continue to keep you updated as more research is published about health and nutrition.  In the meantime,  keep moving, and keep enjoying your unprocessed, natural foods!

Sue Grant holds numerous certifications within the health and wellness industry.

  • Certified as a personal trainer by the ACE
  • Certified as a Master Instructor for the FallProof Program
  • Certified by the Arthritis Foundation
  • Certified in Older Adult Fitness by the American Institute of Fitness Educators

Sue has also studied personal training and group fitness through U.C. San Diego’s Fitness Professional Certificate program. Click here to find her collection of DVDs.

Have a HEART! Helpful Tips for a Healthy Heart

Do you know the signs of a heart attack?  Do those dramatic scenes in a movie come to mind where the man clutches his chest and falls to the ground?

Both men and women can indeed experience intense chest pressure, but WOMEN CAN EXPERIENCE A HEART ATTACK WITHOUT CHEST PRESSURE!  Instead, women may feel dizziness, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness or fainting, shortness breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, or extreme fatigue. 

heart health

Even though heart disease is the Number 1 killer of women in the United States, women often attribute the symptoms to the flu, acid reflux, or normal aging.  Check out the American Heart Association website www.heart.org for more information.

The good news is that 80% of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable with education and action.  The American Heart Association recommends five 30 minute moderate exercise sessions each week.  While this may seem daunting, it is important to note that these sessions can be broken up into two or three 10 or 15 minute segments throughout the day.   As I always say, “A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing!” 

Keep moving for a healthy heart!

 

 

Related Posts:
Women Over 40: Listen Up
Vitamin EX: The Magic Pill

 

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