I Love Watermelon. Why You Should Too.

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Ah, watermelon.  So refreshing on hot summer days.  Love it.

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So, it’s great to know it’s jam-packed with health benefits, including reducing muscle soreness the day after a workout.  Fellow fitness enthusiasts rejoice.

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According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the amino acids citrulline and arginine in watermelon, help improve circulation. That’s not all.

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A prior study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology reports watermelon’s citrulline may also help improve your athletic performance.

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Study showed improved performance in high-intensity exercises like cycling & sprinting.

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It also contains amino acids, which you need to make protein function optimally.

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Watermelons are almost 100 percent water, and everyone knows I love H2O.

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Other nutrients worth noting are Vitamins C, B6, A, lycopene (the redder the watermelon, the more lycopene!), antioxidants, and potassium. Zero fat.

 

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Lycopene is tied to reducing prostate cancer cell proliferation.  Source: Nat’l Cancer Institute. 

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Good electrolytes help prevent heat stroke. Great choice when temps rise.

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Watermelon also contains choline. That helps lower chronic inflammation.

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A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found watermelon lowers blood pressure in obese adults and helps reduce hypertension.  Stress can cause inflammation flareups in your body. Anti-inflammatory foods help reduce that.

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Just like exercise. Walking outdoors in nature (pollution also causes inflammation), preferably laughing with loved ones or friends is great for your health and well-being.

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When you lower stress, you lower inflammation and pain in your body.

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And there’s another benefit for your looks.

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According to Cleveland Clinic Vitamin A and C in watermelon are great for your hair and skin. It keeps it moisturized from the inside and promotes new collagen and elastin cells. Just one cup contains nearly one-quarter of your recommended daily intake.

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It increases blood flow, which is heart healthy. And fiber in it keeps you regular.

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And if that’s not enough, a study published in Menopause found postmenopausal women benefit from improved blood flow and reduce their accumulation of excess fat from the arginine and citrulline in watermelon.

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Women in the study who took watermelon extract for six weeks saw decreased blood pressure and arterial stiffness compared to those who did not take watermelon extract.

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Make sure the watermelon is ripe and red, which means higher concentrations of phenolic antioxidant, beta-carotene and lycopene.

Tomatoes, another favorite, are also high in lycopene.

One cup of cooked tomato contains almost 25 mg. One fresh tomato contains 3.7 mg. Again, lycopene reduces inflammation in your body and builds your immune system.

 

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These dessert options at get togethers keep family and friends healthy.

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Healthy choices make you feel your best. Select a variety of fruits & veggies.

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Disclosure:  I haven’t been paid to sell you watermelon.  I really do love it. Just to be fair, here are OTHER amazing hydrating foods.

Adults need one & 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit each day, so mix it up!

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Don’t forget too much watermelon will leave you feeling bloated.
So, stick with the recommended amount.

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Again,  that’s 2 cups of diced watermelon OR
a small 1-inch thick wedge of sliced melon.

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If you have Diabetes Medline.com did a terrific article called “Can I Eat Watermelon If I Have Diabetes?”  The following is an excerpt from it, but I highly recommend reading the full article at:

http://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/watermelon-and-diabetes

Although eating watermelon has its benefits, you should consider balancing your diet with fruits that have a lower GI. Be sure to pick up fresh fruit wherever possible, as it doesn’t have any added sugars.

If you want to buy canned or frozen fruit, remember to opt for canned fruits soaking in fruit juice over syrup. Be sure to read the label carefully and look for hidden sugars.

Dried fruit and fruit juice should be consumed less often than fresh fruit. This is due to calorie density, sugar concentration, and smaller recommended portion sizes.

What are other diabetes-friendly fruits?

Diabetes-friendly fruits with a low GI include:

  • plums: 2 whole plums have a GI of 24 and a GL of 4
  • grapefruit: 1 average size has a GI of 25 and a GL of 7
  • peaches: 1 large peach has a GI of 28 and a GL of 5
  • apricots: 5 whole apricots have a GI of 34 and a GL of 6
  • pears: 1 small pear has a GI of 37 and a GL of 2

And one more bonus. Kids love watermelon too.

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Stay healthy!

maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

 

Health Benefits of Drinking Water

 

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Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of drinking plenty of water.

By Dr. Nina Radcliff

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

You may know that water makes up about two-thirds of who we are – but did you know it influences 100 percent of the processes in our body?

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Yes, we are made of about 70 percent water!

But did you know that our muscles and kidneys are about 75 percent water?

Lungs about 83 percent.

Brain cells about 85 percent?

And even our bones are approximately 30 percent.

That probably explains why we feel better when we drink enough of it, everyday.

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Because of water’s abundant and varied functions in our body, it is a vital nutrient. Our body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions.

It is also used to lubricate the joints, protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and assist the passage of food through the intestines.

The excellent ability of water to dissolve so many substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.

In fact, to function properly, all the cells and organs of our body need water.

Every day, on an average, our body loses about 2 quarts of water through breathing, sweating, digestion – and it’s E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A-L that we rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain high water content (soups, tomatoes, oranges).

Keeping hydrated has a huge impact on our overall health.

However, despite how crucial water is, a significant number of people fail to consume recommended levels of fluids each day.

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To understand how water is helping us – here are some great reasons why we should be hydrating with clean, natural water right now:

Your Kidneys. Water is essential for the kidneys to function. Every day, the kidneys filter around 120-150 quarts of fluid. Of these, approximately 1-2 quarts are excreted in the form of urine, and 198 are recovered by the bloodstream. When dehydrated, our kidneys resort to desperate measures in order to conserve water—meaning, decreasing urine output. However, this can also result in the buildup of waste products, electrolyte imbalances, and, if severe, acute kidney failure. And, as we start seeing temperatures rise, so too the incidence of miserable kidney stones. When properly hydrated, we maintain good urine flow and this prevents the build-up of minerals within our kidneys that can form stones.

 

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Calories. Water is void of calories, the original and healthiest zero-calorie drink. As we know, our weight is dependent on the balance of calories consumed versus burned. And, when we take in more than we use as fuel, we gain weight. Too many drinks that we commonly reach for are laden with calories (and added sugar). The average can of soda contains approximately 140 calories; a glass of wine 140 calories; and 12-ounces of unsweetened apple juice 170 calories. And, if you think you are safe with a “diet” drink that gets its sweetness from artificial sweeteners and lacks calories, think again. Research shows that they are linked to weight gain. So, the next time we want to quench our thirst, consider reaching for a glass of no-calorie water.

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Combats Dehydration-Driven Sugar Cravings. H2O is essential to a number of our body’s chemical processes, including the ability to release and tap into energy stores. Glycogen is primarily found in the liver and is our main storage form of glucose. However, when we are dehydrated, our liver cannot release glycogen into the blood stream where it can be utilized as fuel. Consequently, our body sends signals to our brain that it needs to consume something sweet—STAT! So the next time you are craving for a cookie, pastry, or something with sugar, it may not be your sweet tooth you are trying to satisfy, but, instead, your thirst.

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Combat Headaches. Headaches are one of the first signs of dehydration and there are two possible theories for this. First, is that when we do not have enough water, our blood volume decreases, and in order to prevent inadequate blood and oxygen flow to our brain, the brain’s blood vessels compensate by dilating. This causes “crowding” and pain. The other theory is that dehydration results in electrolyte imbalance and stimulates the nerves in our brain to send pain signals.

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Keeps us looking young. Our skin cells can either maintain the form of a grape or a raisin, depending on our hydration. When we are properly hydrated, they are like a grape. And, when dehydrated, our cells are shriveled up and can make wrinkles we have appear more prominent. Drinking water can keep our fountain of youth from drying up.

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Healthy Digestion. When dehydrated, our body resorts to extreme measures to conserve water. This includes “pulling” or “absorbing” water from stool before it exits our digestive tract. The result is hardening and decreased transit time of “poop”—also known as constipation.

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Stroke and Survival After Stroke. In studies by leading centers including one out of Johns Hopkins University, researchers found that nearly half of patients who presented with a stroke due to a clot were dehydrated. And, too, they did worse in the long run.

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Concentration and Energy. Approximately 80 percent to 85 percent of our brain’s weight comes from water. So it is no surprise that when our water levels are low, our brain function is affected—chemical production that signals between brain cells and nerve transmission that is responsible for thinking, movement, and memory. And when you are feeling sluggish, like your energy has been zapped or tired – this, too, is a sign of dehydration and time to reach for some clean, natural water.

Too many are living in a mildly dehydrated state—impacting their health with various irritations like headaches, joint pain, low energy, digestive issues…the list goes on. I consider H20 one of the essential building blocks of good health. Clean, natural water is important for all of us, every day!

And do check the source of your water. One of the best waters you can drink is filtered water. And don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water as that generally means you have waited too long and are probably already dehydrated.

An age-old question is how much water is enough? The answer is not as simple as we often hear. The recommended amount of water that should be drunk everyday varies from person to person depending on factors such as level of activity, weight, diet and surrounding temperature.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an estimated adequate intake for men is approximately 13 cups a day. For women, an adequate intake is around 9 cups.

And while we have often heard the directive: “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day” (and it is close to the IOM’s recommendation for women), drinking “8 by 8” is an easy-to-remember amount that can help people on the right track in terms of water consumption.

Take time – and take note – to ensure you are getting enough. One guideline is to drink water in the morning, when you wake and too, 30 minutes before meals and about an hour or two after meals (aim not to drink excessive amounts after 7 p.m. as it may interfere with your sleep).

If you find in your day you have had very little water, I encourage you to set a timer or a smartphone reminder. The goal is to be properly hydrated, everyday – it can make a world of difference in your overall health.

Make a commitment today!!

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Today’s Fitness Tip from Mayo Clinic:

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The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 2 to 3 cups of water two to three hours before your workout, and and at least 1/2 to 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout.  Continue to hydrate after your workout to replenish lost fluid.

Remember, balance is key:

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Happy Hydrated Mother’s Day weekend everyone!

 

Edible Water Bottles! by Maria Dorfner

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Check out this hot way to keep cool and hydrated.  It may feel weird at first, but so did social media.
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Water bottles you eat can revolutionize how you hydrate. 50 billion water bottles are used each year. Only 23% are recycled.

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That’s just in America.  These biodegradable water bottles look like little breast implants or blobs. Not my nails, btw.
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I haven’t tested them. Looks like they could be messy if you’re wearing a silk shirt, but they look small enough not to splatter.
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And they’re good for the environment.  Ooho recently received a $22,500 sustainability award from the EU.
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Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier from Skipping Rocks Lab in London created them.

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They took a frozen ball of water, then encapsulated it in layers of a membrane made of calcium chloride, and brown algae.

 

Imagine drinking water without a plastic bottle to cart around or toss away.

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The manufacturer is now trying to figure out ho make the outer membrane re-sealable.

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These could make a splash when you’re at the gym or hiking, at the beach, in a car –or anywhere when you’re on the go.

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They may even come in different colors and flavors. The plastic industry should be a little nervous right now.

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It could be Bye-Bye to needing to carry water bottles in the future.

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I still have a few questions:

1.  How many water blobs equal 9 fl. oz.?
2.  Can these water blobs break in your purse or pocket?
3.  Can these water blobs unintentionally heat up and be dangerous or is that only a worry with plastic?

4.  How many water blobs does a healthy active person need per day?

5.  When and where will they be available to consumers?

6.  Or will the huge plastics industry squash their ability to come to market?

7.  What is the anticipated price for consumers?

If anyone has answers to these questions, please comment or message me at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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Meanwhile, congratulations to the creators. I think it’s a hot health discovery!

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Special thanks to Ellen Canderozzi, a friend from grade school, who reminded about this biodegradable water on Facebook.

Stay hydrated!  Stay healthy!  🙂
Maria

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For more visit http://www.Smithsonian.com

4 Reasons To Drink Water BEFORE You Workout by Maria Dorfner

strawHere’s why drinking water PRIOR to your workout is VITAL.

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1.  Your muscles contract when you exercise, which causes the temperature in your body to rise.  Sweat is your body’s natural internal air-conditioning. It cools the outer layer of your skin and lowers the heat inside.

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2.  It regulates blood pressure and your body temperature. When you’re dehydrated, your body’s interal air-conditioning shuts down which can result in heat exhaustion or worse, heat stroke.

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3. You will perform at your optimal level.   It affects how fast and hard your muscles can contract.  Your endurance, strength and reaction times improve.

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4.  Fueling up prior to your workout increases your body’s physiological response to exercise, which improves your performance.

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HOW MUCH WATER IS ENOUGH

Four hours before a workout, drink 5-7 ml of fluid per kg body weight. The average size person should drink 1.5 to 2 cups pre-exercise. This allows time for your kidneys to process the fluid and excrete any excess.

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A good way to check if you’re drinking enough water is to monitor your urine color.  It should be light yellow. If it’s dark, drink  1 to 1 1/2 cups more water.

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YES, YOU CAN DRINK TOO MUCH FLUID

It even has a fancy name, known as hyperhydration.  Here’s why that’s not good.  Drinking too much fluid can cause your extra- and intracellular spaces to expand. 

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Too much fluid intake can cause frequent runs to the restroom, which disrupts a good workout OR it may also result in another fancy word, hyponatremia, also known as water intoxication.  That’s more common in marathons. 

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When that happens, sodium levels in blood get diluted and can be fatal.  

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STAY HYDRATED.  STAY HEALTHY.

Remember, four hours before a workout, drink 5-7 ml of fluid per kg body weight. The average size person should drink 1.5 to 2 cups pre-exercise.

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Lucy makeprofile4 nbc1 Maria Dorfner is an award-winning broadcast journalist specializing in health. MedCrunch is a division of Healthy Within Network (HWN), which she recently founded. She began her career at NBC.  Since then, her stories have appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, CNBC, FOX, DISCOVERY HEALTH CHANNEL and more. Her lifelong passion is health and well-being.  She also loves creating/producing shows. She is a voracious reader and learner.  When she was 5-years-old, her entire face was burned to a crisp. The doctor in Brooklyn, NY said it would end up severely scarred. She recalls it vividly.  She smiled when the doctor said that to her Mom, and wondered why he was worried and making her Mom cry.   Maria believed she’d be fine.  Later when she healed, the doctor called it “a miracle.”    Right then, Maria learned the power of thought. 

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“Thoughts are powerful.  So much so, that your mind is the key to your own health. Too many people can profit when you unwittingly hand that key over.  The floodgates for information overload are open.  It’s so important to question everything, and have a trusted source, especially when it comes to your health.” -Maria Dorfner, Nancy Drew of Health

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Health Stories? Health Tips? Questions? Need Help?  Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

If you need  a water filtration system for your home here are a few. A few friends have Smart Water and love it.

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=ge+waterfilter&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=4508512727&hvpos=1t2&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7465269791153580585&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_8zdxqzmf5v_b