Super Food of the Week: OystersIn many cultures oysters are not only considered a delicacy but also a commodity in enhancing a dull love life. Oysters are a wildly popular in coastal areas with many coastal towns and cities holding annual seafood festivals honoring oysters. Making oysters a part of your diet offers a number of health benefits. Oysters are low in fat, high in protein and a good source of essential nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium and potassium.
Oysters are considered to be a low-energy-density food. This means that they have few calories in a large portion. Including these foods in your diet can make it easier for you to drop unwanted pounds, because you feel fuller while still limiting your daily calorie intake. For example a 3- oz. serving of moist-cooked eastern oysters contains about 86 calories. As a comparison, a 3-oz. portion of roasted skinless white meat chicken contains 130 calories.
Oysters are also a lean source of protein. The USDA’s daily guidelines recommend that you include lean source of protein including 8-oz. of seafood per week. Oysters certainly fit the bill by being low in fat and high in protein. A 3-oz. serving of moist-cooked oysters, eastern or Pacific, contains 10 to 16 grams of protein and about 3 to 4 grams of total fat with 0.81 to 0.87 grams of that being saturated fat.
Oysters are also considered heart healthy as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium and vitamin E. Omega 3-fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium can help lower your blood pressure while reducing your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Also, omega-3’s can improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. The anti-oxidant vitamin E helps to keep damaging free radicals from your cell membranes which can also lead to cardiovascular diseases as well as other illnesses. Omega 3’s can help foster a health skin and hair growth as well.
Unlike most shellfish, oysters have a fairly long shelf life: about two weeks. However, as the oysters age their taste becomes less pleasant. Oysters should be refrigerated out of water, not frozen, and in 100% humidity. Oysters stored in water under refrigeration will open, consume all available oxygen and die rendering them unfit for consumption. Oysters must be eaten alive, or cooked alive. The shells are normally tightly closed or snap shut when given a light tap. If the shell is open (and doesn't close when tapped), the oyster is dead, and again is unfit for consumption. Cooking oysters in the shells will kill the oysters and causes the shells to open. Should a closed shell not open then the oyster was dead before cooking and is unsafe.
Fit Tip of The Week: Top Fitness Mistakes (Part 2)Last week we took a look at some of the most common mistakes seen in the gym and with fitness in general. This week we’ll take a look at more common mistakes and how to avoid them. Remember these mishaps can not only hinder your progression but can also cause injury.
6. Bouncing while stretching. This is also known as ballistic stretching and was a very common thing to see among exercisers, but is now contraindicated. Truth is bouncing during a stretch can increase your risk of straining or pulling muscles. Instead of bouncing hold a static stretch with no movement at the joints. Your body should feel lengthened but there should not be pain.
7. Passing on a warm-up. Jumping into your fitness routine without a warm up basically asks your body to work before the oxygen and blood flow reach the muscles. It’s kind of like trying to drive your car without oil and gas. Just like you would increase the risk of damage to your car you also increase risk of injury without a proper warm-up. Before you exercise in earnest, you should spend at about 5-10 minutes going through the motions of your workout at an easy pace to safely raise your body temperature. Spend some time getting your blood flowing by walking on the treadmill, or using the exercise bike, or just walking in place.
8. Skipping the cool-down. A proper cool-down is just as important as a proper warm-up. Don’t just come to a sudden stop at the end of your workout. It’s like driving full speed and then suddenly pulling the emergency break. If you don’t cool down you raise your risk of muscle soreness and blood pooling. Blood pooling happens because your heart is pumping a larger amount of blood to the working muscles and when your muscle stop contracting (exercising) the blood is no longer pushed back to the heart. The blood, along with all of the waste products therein, stays in the muscles which cause swelling, pain and a sudden drop in blood pressure (which can be dangerous). A proper active cool-down will prevent these dangers by taking 5 to 10 minutes working at a slower pace to let your heart rate slowly come down.
9. Doing out dated exercises. Some of us still hold faith in the exercises we learned in high school, like windmills and leg lifts. Some of the oldies are a waste of time and others are now contraindicated due to risk of injury. Try taking an exercise class or working with a personal trainer to help freshen your routine.
10. Wanting the quick fix. So many people expect dramatic results from a little bit of exercise. The current recommendations are for 3.5-4 hours of physical activity a week (without changing diet) just to prevent weight gain. If you’re doing 30 minutes of physical activity, three times a week, without a change to your diet, it will take about one month to drop a pound. Remember a diet adjustment and physical activity are the best ways to drop the unwanted pounds, but also keep in mind that a healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds a week. The unwanted weight didn’t get there overnight and it’s not going to go away overnight.
Until next week…