Recently I wrote a blog about “THE DIRTY DOZEN”, a list of vegetables and fruits that you want to buy only organic because of their high level of toxicity due to farming or harvesting practices. NOW here are “THE CLEAN FIFTEEN”, a list of vegetables and fruits that are good enough to eat and feel even more rewarded for their underlying health and fitness benefits, even if their not organic.
Just to recap here is a list of “THE DIRTY DOZEN” in case you missed that blog post.
Sweet Bell Peppers
“THE CLEAN FIFTEEN”
Regardless of the fact that these fruits are considered “clean” I would still recommend buying organic and fresh farmed vegetables or fruit from local farms in your communities.
Food can be a medicine or a poison that often you can’t see or feel. The information in this blog is to guide and encourage you to become an educated produce shopper and consumer so you can confidently live on the journey to a healthy and fit lifestyle. These recommendations are not recommended to replace any medical food prescriptions or any other dietary prescriptions given to you buy a health care provider.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes about food. “if it wasn’t here a 1,000 years ago, don’t eat or drink it.”
Matcha Green Tea has been used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for over a millennium and embodies a meditative spiritual style. Made from the nutrient-rich young leaves picked from the tips of shade-grown Camellia sinensis plants, Matcha Green Tea is steamed, stemmed and picked before being stone-ground into very fine powder. Matcha Green Tea powder is then stored away from light and oxygen in order to preserve its brilliant green color and antioxidant properties. This miracle elixir is considered to be one of the most powerful super foods on the market today and here are 10 reasons why.
1. High In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are the magical nutrients and enzymes responsible for fighting against the negative effects of our food, environment and lifestyle habits preventing a number of life-threatening maladies. Antioxidants are something that all health conscious individuals seek from such foods as organic fruits, green veggies and the like. Just one serving of Matcha Green Tea provides 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food – the highest rated by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method.
Matcha Green Tea has been used by Japanese Zen Buddhist monks as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. Now we know that this higher state of consciousness is due to the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves used to make Matcha. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain which induces relaxation without the inherent drowsiness.
3. Boosts Memory and Concentration
Another side-effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration. I think we all can use a little boost in memory and concentration.
4. Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
Samurai warriors of Japan drank Matcha Green Tea before going into battle gaining benefits of increased energy and endurance. Green tea naturally contains caffeine, but the energy and focus received from Matcha is largely due to L-Theanine. Matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side-effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension. It’s good, clean energy and endurance.
5. Strengthens The Immune System
Matcha Green Tea has been shown to promote overall health and wellness. One bowl of Matcha Green Tea provides a good amount of Potassium, Vitamins A & C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium.
6. Burns Calories
Drinking Matcha Green Tea has been shown to increase metabolism and facilitate fat burn up. Unlike many weight loss aides, Matcha natural properties causes no negative side-effects such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure or stress on the kidneys.
I recently read an article in the New York TIme’s that peaked my interest about the link to cancer and our innate fitness which is part of our genes. According to recent research findings out of Colorado State University, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC and University of Michigan found that rats with low innate fitness were found to be about four times as likely to develop breast cancer after being exposed to known carcinogens compared to their counterparts with innate fitness at birth.
These studies peal away deeper layers of how fitness plays a role in our heredity and unravels more clues into the relationship between fitness, exercise, cancer and aging.
Most people think of aerobic fitness which is the use of elevated heart rates to get more oxygen to the muscles, is built in HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes, spinning or running, but you would only be half right. There is evidence that suggests that aerobic fitness can be a genetic factor which differs from family to family, person to person. Exercise with out a shadow of doubt facilitates aerobic health, but you might be surprised to learn that your aerobic capacity is given to you at birth. Although these studies come with great evidence, I am for one not convinced that we can not improve our aerobic health with time, consistency and eustress (good stress) from the right conditioning program.
However, this “innate fitness” that we are born with that scientist are studying has proven to show a four times higher risk of breast cancer compared to their counterparts who had a higher innate fitness level at birth. I know what you’re probably thinking. Do I have innate fitness? How do I know? Can I measure it? Yes, you can’t, and not that I am aware of. So what I can do about it if I don’t know? The answer is, You can do a lot and you’re probably already doing something.
There is no doubt we all have a predisposition to certain diseases based on our genetics that include risk factors, health factors and now fitness factors. But that doesn’t mean you should roll over and just accept your fate. No way! It means you have to work a little harder, do more to reverse your genetic codes, raise your health and fitness standards and be more deliberate in your intentions to create optimal health and fitness for yourself.
Here are my top 3 recommendations to build aerobic fitness at any level or at any age:
10,000 steps a day – I know this isn’t earth shattering news, but the app, smart phone and smart watch markets are designed today to help you manage this simple, but effective way to increase your lifestyle activity.
Increase your heart rate above 65% of your max heart rate (220 – age / %) 3x a week for at ten minutes or more.
Take a class or do an aerobic activity like spinning, boxing, HIIT training or an aerobics class 1x a week that challenges your aerobic fitness and increases your heart rate to 80% (220 – age / %).
The studies about our innate fitness and the link to cancer gives us a peak into the world of science and the discoveries our scholarly researchers are finding everyday, but by no means should you accept this as your fate at birth good or bad. You still have to create new experiences both physically and mentally to maximize your potential to live with optimal health and fitness
In the words of anthropologist, Joan D. Vinge, “We are all born with a unique genetic blueprint, which lays out the basic characteristics of our personality as well as our physical health and appearance… And yet, we all know that life experiences do change us.”
Have you ever talked or spent time with someone who seemed wiser than he or she should be? Well I had the great pleasure of speaking and interviewing someone like that on my Lacrosse & Sport Podcast this week.
Marcus Holman is an American professional lacrosse player for the Ohio Machine , the 2017 MLL Champions. Holman was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. He was an attackman for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and had started in 52 of UNC’s 62 games (84%) in the last four years. He was UNC’s all-time leading scorer until Joey Sankey surpassed him during the 2015 season. He joined the Ohio Machine in 2013 and was named the MLL Offensive Player of the Year.
Marcus Holman scored four in a row would make the Ohio Machine the MLL Champions for the first time in program history.
Marcus and I met last summer at the lacrosse camp I run in Florida with my friend and business partner Roger Welton. We hired Marcus to come and share his lacrosse wisdom with our campers. Marcus was a respectful, humble, but very focused individual who has a high standard for excellence and accomplishment that transcended to the players. His ability to connect, coach and inspire everyone around him was nothing less than admirable. I immediately felt a connection and admiration for my new friend and the star lacrosse player who is almost half my age.
So why do I want to share this interview with you and what is there for you to gain from this? It starts with the saying that many of you have heard from my lips or read from some post that I shared, “How you do one thing, is how you do everything.” In our interview with Marcus, he shares the winning formula for his success on and off the lacrosse field, his daily habits and routines that fuel his desire to be better, and his passion for living life and playing lacrosse at a high standard. Lessons all of us can learn from regardless of what you do, where you’re from or what age you’re at.
Marcus left me inspired, but also motivated me to be better and achieve more in my life, so I figured I would pay it forward so it could do the same for you.
I hope you enjoy the podcast and gain the similar motivations I had from the shares of Marcus Holman, a professional lacrosse player and young man who is wise beyond his years.
More and more people are demanding food free of synthetic chemicals. But recent analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70% of samples of 48 types of conventionally grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues.
The USDA found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples it analyzed. The pesticides remained on fruits and vegetables even when they are washed and, in some cases, peeled.
When buying organic produce is not an option, use this buyers guide to choose foods lower in pesticide residues. But when you do have the option to buy organic, always do so.
The Dirty Dozen List:
Sweet Bell Peppers
I recommend getting this vegetable and fruit wash to help reduce the possible contamination of your fruits and vegetables.
Steve Jordan is a certified personal trainer, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and well regarded health & fitness educator. He is also an accomplished lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is sole proprietor of Steve Jordan Fitness located in Los Angeles, owns and operates a successful lacrosse business in Florida and fulfills his passion for health and fitness through his blog, public speaking engagements and through personal training his clients.