APN Physical Therapy June 2019

IT’S ALL GREEN TO ME THE BEST GREEN FOODS TO ADD TO THE MENU

You need to eat more green foods.

recently noted that people who get most of their vitamin E from their diet tend to have a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease. It’s all the more reason to enjoy that avocado toast!

No, this doesn't mean green Skittles. Green vegetables comprise one of the most important food groups, and most people aren’t eating enough of them. But if you do decide to get more nutrients from green veggies, remember that not all greens are created equal. Dark leafy spinach is basically a superfood, offering protein, iron, vitamin A, and tons of minerals. Meanwhile, iceberg lettuce or celery may fill your stomach up, but they offer little to no nutritional value. Next time you’re at the grocery store, keep an eye out for these top-rated green vegetables that are both delicious and nutritious.

Edamame

Looking for a filling mid-afternoon snack? Skip the potato chips and help yourself to some edamame. These Japanese soybeans are a familiar sight on sushi menus, but they’re also readily available in the freezer section of your local grocery store. Edamame is delicious and a great source of protein, making it the perfect snack.

Watercress

Avocado

Step aside, kale; here’s the real queen of green. With more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, and more vitamin C than an orange, watercress is one of the best greens you’re not eating. With all of these extra vitamins, watercress has been shown to improve heart health, bone health, and even act as an antidepressant. Next time you need a pick-me-up, consider a watercress salad. Your whole body will thank you! Bad childhood encounters with canned spinach or steamed Brussels sprouts are why many people avoid green veggies. But the produce section is full of tasty, healthy options waiting to appear on your dinner plate and improve your well-being.

They’re tasty, they’re trendy, and they’re great for your eyes. Avocados are a great source of an antioxidant called lutein, which improves eye health. They’re also rich in vitamin E. Researchers have

WHY TAI CHI IS COOLER THAN YOU THINK BETTER BALANCE WITH THE INTERNAL MARTIAL ART

When you think about martial arts, a few images come to mind: Mr. Miyagi, possibly nunchucks, and people breaking objects using impressive disciplined strength. But one of the most powerful martial arts you may not immediately picture is tai chi. This ancient Chinese form of combat in slow motion is an internal martial art that works from the inside out by developing the body’s internal energy, known as qi, or “chi.” In Chinese medicine, balanced qi is essential to good health. Hundreds of studies demonstrate the mental and physical benefits this quiet martial art provides. Because of its focus on posture, tai chi is particularly helpful for balance. In Harvard’s analysis

of 20 different studies, tai chi was shown to improve cognitive function and slow the progression of dementia more than other forms of exercise. While the movements appear mild, the practice of tai chi requires discipline and strength. That’s part of the reason why it provides a powerful punch of health benefits and also why less than 5 percent of people stick with it. Some teachers say it takes three years to learn the basic movements of tai chi — and more than a lifetime to master. Physical training, combined with the internal meditative aspect of tai chi, are the reasons martial arts legend Jet Li has turned to the exercise in recent years, even campaigning to make it an Olympic event. In an interview,

Li explained his push to make tai chi a more widely recognized and accepted exercise: “In our attempts to push ourselves, we’ve lost sight of an important part of the sporting mindset: balance.” For anyone setting out on a mission to age gracefully, tai chi can help reduce your risk of falling with its focus on posture. An ounce of preventive tai chi may be worth a pound of cure; the Center for Disease Control reports that people pay an average of $35,000 in health care costs every time they fall. Many community centers and health and wellness facilities offer opportunities to learn tai chi, from free community classes to entire tai chi facilities. Go see for yourself why this is the martial art everyone should practice.

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