1. Brown Fat is Where it’s At!
Just when you thought fat was fat… Humans have white, brown and beige fat; each type plays a different role. But brown fat is where it’s at. Brown fat contains a high concentration of mitochondria, which produces energy within cells. This fat is usually located in small areas around the neck and upper back, and along the spine.
Instead of storing calories like its white counterpart, brown fat helps to burn calories. Obesity researchers are hoping that stimulating our brown fat (environmentally, pharmaceutically or nutritionally) will increase calorie burning and help us to lose excess body fat. While limited evidence does seem promising, my advice for stoking your metabolic fire is to ramp up your workouts and go for the burn!
2. Arsenic in Old Rice?
Arsenic is highly poisonous at high doses. But chronic exposure to even low levels increases the risk of heart disease, infertility and various forms of cancer. In September, Consumer Reports released results of its analysis of more than two hundred rice samples. Almost all samples were found to contain both inorganic (cancer-causing) and organic arsenic (considered less, but still harmful).
Follow these tips:
- Cooking: Use 6 cups of boiling water for 1 cup of dry rice. You will reduce arsenic residue by up to 45 percent.
- Buying: Choose rice grown in California and imported basmati and jasmine rice (they’ve been shown to have lower arsenic levels)
- Avoid: foods made with brown rice syrup
- Consider: other grains in place of rice
3. Boost your Broccoli
Broccoli is a nutritional superstar. Like other cruciferous vegetables, it’s rich in vitamin C (one cup of broccoli has as much as a medium orange, for only 30 calories!), folate and fiber, and also has vitamin K, and beta carotene.
Studies have linked broccoli (and other cruciferous delights) to a decreased risk of several cancers (due to their unique phytochemicals). Broccoli in particular is a very good source of sulforaphane, which is formed from another compound called glucosinolate, when the vegetable is cut, chewed and digested. Sulforaphane exhibits anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties.
What are you waiting for? Jump on the Broccoli Bandwagon today!