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nutrition

Combat Fatigue With These Foods

Fatigue often refers to the strong sensation of tiredness, usually occurring after strenuous physical and mental activity. It can also be accompanied by headaches, muscle tension, and other pain. Most cases are mild, but it can turn into a chronic issue due to its severity and recurrence.

Fatigue can be a symptom of an underlying cause, which is why it is important to address it. A change in daily fitness habits and an increase in consumption of certain foods that can increase your energy levels help to fight fatigue. Here are some of the best foods for an easy and delicious energy boost.

Bananas
Bananas are a great source of potassium, which helps regulate your blood pressure while supporting the processes that transform sugar into fuel for your body. They also contain significant amounts of vitamins A, B complex and C, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, fructose and glucose. These nutrients assist in quelling that tired feeling and improving physical and mental performance.

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are known to be a natural remedy for relieving fatigue and a weakened immune system. These contain large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are known for packing energy and the ability to control cholesterol and inflammation. They also contain B-complex vitamins and minerals (magnesium and copper) necessary for muscular and mental rest. They are also a source of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that can improve the quality of your sleep and help with emotional fatigue.

Natural Yogurt
Yogurt offers essential amino acids and carbohydrates, which support your physical and mental energy, keeping tiredness and concentration problems at bay. Yogurt also contains probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that improve digestion and support immune system function.

Walnuts
Omega 3 fatty acids and natural fiber make walnuts a smart choice to fight fatigue. Once assimilated, they counteract the weakness caused by fatigue. Moderate consumption can increase your energy levels and support endurance during high-impact physical activity.

Beans
These legumes deserve a spot in everyone’s diet because they fight fatigue and promote good heart and immune system health. They provide a great amount of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and protein, all of which eliminate tiredness and improve focus. Minerals like potassium and magnesium are found in beans and keep physical and mental energy up as well.

Spinach
Spinach offers numerous nutritional benefits, including a high mineral and fiber content. It is also a great source of iron, potassium, and magnesium – essential minerals that improve your circulation and control inflammatory processes of your body. Vitamins C and B are also found in spinach (a deficiency in vitamin B is associated with a higher likelihood of suffering from weakness and chronic fatigue).

Oats
Because they pack so much energy, it is recommended that we eat the “queen of the grains” at least 3 times a week. Oats are full of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and natural fiber to improve digestion and the immune system. And its high-quality carbohydrates are stored in your body as glycogen, which eventually turns into fuel for the body.

Watermelon
Dehydration-related symptoms of fatigue are often improved by eating watermelon. Watermelon is loaded with water and nutrients to rehydrate you, and they are especially helpful after exercise or strenuous physical activity.

Which foods help you fight fatigue? Share your favorites with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Fuel up at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! Visit us for breakfast or lunch six days a week – visit the BrickMarketDeli.com to learn more.

The Healthful Egg

Eggs get both good and bad raps, but here’s why you should incorporate eggs into your diet in moderation. Most of us know eggs are protein rich (each 85 calorie egg packs 7 grams of protein), however, they are also loaded with amino acids, antioxidants, and iron. And if you think only consuming egg whites will cut it, keep in mind that some nutrients are only found in the egg yolks.

You do want to steer toward organic eggs whenever possible. These are certified by the USDA and are free from antibiotics, vaccines, and hormones. The color of eggs is up to personal preference, and simply varies based on the type of chicken (both have the same nutritional value).

Here are a few reasons why you want to include eggs into your daily diet:

Boost Immune System
One large egg contains 22% of your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of selenium, a nutrient which helps support your immune system and regulate thyroid hormones. Adding an egg or two to your diet can make a difference, especially for children and adolescents. A deficiency of selenium can result in Keshan disease and Kashin-Beck disease, conditions that can affect the heart, bones, and joints.

Improve Cholesterol Profile
We all know that high cholesterol is not good, however, there are good and bad kinds of cholesterol (HDL and LDL, respectively). While it is true that eggs contain plenty of cholesterol (one large egg has 212 mg), this does not necessarily mean that eggs will raise “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. Research has shown that eggs can actually improve your cholesterol profile as they seem to raise HDL cholesterol while increasing the size of LDL particles.

Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease
Speaking of LDL particles, they transport their fat molecules into artery walls and drive atherosclerosis (the narrowing of the blood vessels due to cholesterol plaque build-up). And when it comes to these particles, size matters. Those with predominantly small, dense LDL particles have a higher risk of heart disease than those who have mostly large LDL particles. Eggs tend to raise LDL cholesterol in some people, however, as mentioned previously, they also change the particles from small and dense to large, lowering the risk of cardiovascular problems.

More Energy
One egg contains about 15% of your RDA of vitamin B2 (riboflavin). This is just one of eight B vitamins which help to convert food into fuel to produce energy.

Better Skin & Hair
Aside from vitamin B2, eggs also contain B5 and B12. These B-complex vitamins are also necessary for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help to ensure the proper function of the nervous system.

Protect Your Brain
The essential nutrient choline is a component of cell membranes and is required to synthesize acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter).  A lack of choline has been linked to neurological disorders and decreased cognitive function, and, surprisingly, more than 90% of Americans eat less than the RDA of choline. Luckily, choline can be found in egg yolks.

Save Your Life
There are 20 essential amino acids that your body needs, 11 of which your body can produce. The other 9 must come from a food source, and eggs contain all 9. A lack of these 9 amino acids can result in muscle wasting, decreased immune response, weakness, fatigue, and changes to the texture of your skin and hair.

Less Stress & Anxiety
A deficiency in the 9 amino acids can also have effects on mental health. A 2004 study found that lysine (an amino acid) can significantly reduce anxiety and stress levels by possibly modulating serotonin in the nervous system.

Protect Your Eyes
Lutein and zeaxanthin, both antioxidants found in eggs, have powerful protective effects on the eyes. They significantly reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts (which are among the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the elderly). But if you’re only eating egg whites, don’t expect to reap these benefits – these antioxidants are found in the yolk.

Improve Bones & Teeth
Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium and eggs are one of the few natural sources of this. Calcium is not only important for the health and strength of your bones, but is also crucial for a healthy heart, colon, and metabolism.

Satiation
Because eggs are such a great source of protein, all other sources of protein are measured against them.
High-protein foods affect your appetite in that they allow you to feel fuller while eating less. With that being said, eggs score high on the Satiety Index, a measure of how much foods contribute to the feeling of fullness. And because of their satiating power, eggs have also been linked with fat loss.

What’s not to love about eggs? Share your favorite way to cook and eat eggs with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Get your egg fix at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! Join us for breakfast starting at 7:00am (8:00am on Saturdays). Hope to see you bright & early!

What Is Fiber?

March is National Nutrition Month, and, to kick it off, we’re talking about fiber. Do you get enough fiber in your diet? Read on to find out the benefits of fiber and which foods are the best sources for your fiber fix.

What is Fiber?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. Because it cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, fiber simply passes through the body undigested. This makes fiber an important player in regulating the body’s use of sugars, keeping hunger and blood sugar in check.

There are two types of fiber, and both are good for you.

  1. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can help lower glucose levels and blood cholesterol. Soluble fiber can be found in foods like oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples, and blueberries.
  2. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and can help food move through your digestive system, aiding in regularity and preventing constipation. Insoluble fiber can be found in foods like wheat, whole wheat breads, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Overall, the best sources for fiber include whole grain foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts.

How Much Do We Need?

For good health, it is recommended that children and adults get at least 20-30 grams of fiber per day. However, most Americans only ingest a mere 15 grams a day. To increase your fiber intake, try these tips:

  • Opt for whole fruits rather than sugary fruit juices.
  • Swap white rice, bread, and pasta for brown rice and whole grain products.
  • Choose cereals with a whole grain listed as their first ingredient.
  • Skip the chips, crackers, and chocolate bars and snack on raw vegetables instead.
  • Substitute meat with beans or legumes two to three times a week in chili or soups.

Benefits

It appears that fiber helps to reduce the risk of developing various conditions.

  • High intake of dietary fiber has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, as well as metabolic syndrome.
  • Studies have shown that diets low in fiber and high in foods that cause sudden increases in blood sugar may increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Eating dietary fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, was associated with about a lower risk of 40% lower risk of diverticular disease.
  • Fiber helps to relieve and prevent constipation, one of the more common gastrointestinal complaints in the US.

Now that you know a bit more about fiber, are you getting enough? What’s your favorite fiber-rich food or meal? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn! You can also find us on Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.

Visit the Brick Market & Deli – Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona on the corner of E Arrow Hwy & Garey Ave. You can order ahead online or visit us in store weekdays 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm.

Eat More Vegetables This Winter

Seasonal vegetables can provide a much needed change in your kitchen while providing great nutrition. Did you resolve to improve your health this year? Try adding these power foods to your meals this winter.

Broccoli
Whether you love or hate broccoli, its health benefits cannot be denied. Packed with vitamins and minerals, broccoli helps to reduce the probability of serious health issues and refreshes and revitalizes skin, hair, and metabolic rate. Because it is a great source of iron, it can be very beneficial to pregnant women.

Eating it raw or steamed can maximize your nutrient intake. You can also add it to an omelet, or create a wholesome salad with other nutrient rich ingredients.

Carrot
Of course you’ve heard that carrots are good for your vision, but they are also great sources of fiber and vitamins A, C, E, and K. They can strengthen your immune system and even help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Boil, steam or roast these bad boys for delicious soups or stews. Or enjoy them peeled and raw, with herbed dips or hummus. You can even enjoy them in sweet treats like cakes or muffins.

Garlic
Versatile and valuable, garlic has antioxidizing properties that help boost your immune and cardiovascular systems. Acne, the common cold, hair loss, blood pressure issues, fatigue, and athlete’s foot can be warded off with regular and consistent consumption of garlic.

Roasted or raw, garlic can be used in nearly any dish as a medicinal herb or culinary spice.

Peas
Peas are rich in protein, fiber, and micronutrients. Their lutein and vitamin A content help vision and vitamin K aids in calcium absorption. Peas also help to reduce depression and slow signs of aging, while improving heart health and your immune system.

Peas are tasty when sautéed with herbs and spices. You can enjoy snow peas or snap peas raw, stir-fried, or in curry form. But be aware that cooking them will cause them to become sweeter.

Turnips
Turnips are low calorie, a great source of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber, and are available all winter long. Often overlooked, turnips are yummy and provide excellent health benefits.

Both the root and the tops greens can be useful when cooking stews or mixed with other vegetables. Young turnips can be used in uncooked salads for a slightly sweet taste.

Looking for fun and creative ways to use these winter veggies? Visit our Pinterest page for our favorite recipes, food ideas, and more. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and LinkedIn.

You can visit us in store weekdays from 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays from 10:30am-4:30pm. Stop by for a yummy sandwich, fresh salad, or a sweet treat!