Saturday, August 2, 2008

food for life

Typical Hong Kong people has the following typical working ethics, long working hour even in holidays, highly stress working environment, expectation of high deliverables in short duration, flexible to gasp every opportunity struggling for survival in this competitive society, can not leave the Hand phone at home, eating unbalanced junk food as lunch, lack of regular exercise, insufficient of fruit, vegetables, gradually inclined to have coffee and milk tea to replace Chinese Tea or water as the standard beverage for office people.

You are what you eat. Yeah it’s a cliché, but it’s a good one. We all know the importance of a balanced diet, eating a good meal, watching portions and all the other stuff that’s drilled into us at restaurant or through the media. Of course whether or not we follow this advice is a whole other story, some foods are great brain foods while others help to fuel the body. Which foods are best for us? I decided to do a little research from magazines.

This is in no way a scientific study, but from what I could gather the following foods help to stimulate the brain and keep you going throughout the day.

1. Blueberries - Blueberries are filled with rich anti-oxidants. A diet rich in blueberries leads to a better memory and better motor skills and coordination. Besides, blueberries are good for our eyes.

2. Omega-3 Rich foods such as salmon and sardines - I don’t like fish at all except raw Toro and Salmon for their great taste. These Omega-3 foods stimulate the brain and help keep a positive outlook. Salmon can have effect of prevention of senile dementia. Our Body can not product Omega-3 by itself!

3. Spinach - Great for the central nervous system and good all around brain food. No wonder why this is the favourite food of Popeye!

4. Nuts - A daily handful of nuts is a not only a great protein booster but also a great brain booster. Take some when you feel yourself struggling and see what I mean.

5. Citrus fruits - Not only do fruits give you the right kind of sugar for energy and fuel but colorful fruits are excellent sources of antioxidants and powerful brain food.

6. Dark chocolate - Dark chocolate also is an antioxidant. Plus it increases focus and stimulation. Dark chocolate also helps to fight age related brain symptoms.

7 Water - Your brain won’t function properly if it’s dehydrated. 8 to 10 glasses a day, at least. Start the day with a glass of warm water. This flushes out our kidneys and detoxifies your system. Water is best drunk half an hour before eating and between meals, to allow for the flushing actions and to avoid interfering with the body’s digestive processes. Alcohol, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks are diuretics; for every drink it is recommended to drink at least one glass of water to counter its effect.

8 Avocado - Avocados stimulate blood flow to the brain. They do have fat in them, but it’s not the bad kind of fat.

9. Whole grains - Promote good heart and blood health. Your grains keep the heart pumping and keep you going. Plus they stimulate the blood flow to the brain.

10. Eggs - Help with the production of memory stem cells…and every writer needs a sharp memory, however an average adult can take maximum 5 egg yoke a week!

11. Broccoli - Besides being a good source of calcium, potassium, folate and fiber, broccoli contains phytonutrients - a group of compounds that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamins A and C - antioxidants that protect your body's cells from damage.

12. Vegetable juice - Vegetable juice has most of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in the original vegetables and is an easy way to include vegetables in your diet. Tomato juice and vegetable juices, which include tomatoes, are good sources of lycopene, an antioxidant which may reduce the risk of heart attack, prostate cancer and possibly other types of cancer. Some vegetable and tomato juices are very high in sodium, so be sure to select the low-sodium varieties.

13. Wheat germ - At the center of a grain of wheat is the wheat germ - the part of the seed that's responsible for the development and growth of the new plant sprout. Though only a small part of the wheat seed, the germ is a highly concentrated source of nutrients, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc. The germ also contains protein, fiber and some fat.

14.Green tea, It is known to its powerful Antioxidant, prevent cancer of esophagus, carcinoma of the rectum, Rectal, colon, skin, liver and stomach. Daily intake can reduce chance of having heart diseases.

15. Garlic- King of healing plant, garlic is one of nature’s “swear by” remedies. This powerful antiseptic was regularly used to treat all kinds of infections before the development of antibiotics, raw garlic is best, but one of the problems of garlic is its pungent odour and taste, which is not to everyone’s liking. Eating fresh parsley or tarragon helps to reduce garlic breath, and lightly stir-frying the cloves for a few moments also helps to eliminate any unpleasant after-effects. Garlic is known to have prevention of heart disease, reduce Cholesterol.

16. Oats- reduce Chorestole and heart disease prevention

17. Red wine, know to be good for its taste performance as antioxidant, soften the vessel walls, increase the good cholesterol amount and good for heart if not drink too much. I used to drink a half bottle on Saturday afternoon with a piece of roasted goose leg… That is my reward for the week’s hard work.

There are more, and we should not limited to certain type of food, well, from the list you would see that they some of the healthiest because they meet at least three of the following criteria:
Are a good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients
Are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds, such as vitamins A and E and beta carotene May help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions
Are low in calorie density, meaning you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories
They are no meat except Salmon Are readily available. Healthy Habit to suit every of us.
Drink 1-2 litres of water a day to stay well-hydrated and fill you up, so you are less likely to snack
Choose low fat dairy products
Use healthy monosaturated fats like olive and canola oil which are great for heart health, brainpower and fighting inflammation

Alternate your fruit and vegetables so that you included as many different colour and varieties as possible

Exercise for 30 minutes on most days- split up into three blocks of 10 minutes if time is tights

Snack on foods like raw nuts, fruit and vegetables sticks, which are high in healthy vitamins and minerals and low in unhealthy fat, salt and sugar.

Eat regularly-either by having three meals a day of seven to eight very small healthy mini-meals - This will keep your metabolism revving.

Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleeping most nights- Skimping on zzzzs can cause a spike in insulin levels and change the way metabolize. The human body liver does the repair works at 2300-0300, try to sleep at this time zone by all means.
One of the very senior manager said, he only sleeps eleven whiles he is sick! Truly we are expanding activities from 16 hours to 18 hours where by reducing the rest time to less than 6 hours, But this prolong malpractice will prone to have damage on our liver system.

Everyone knows all the bad things and what are good for us but usually the most educated people will make the most common mistakes. Though we are not rich but we are wealthy as you have possessed something money can not buy! I wish you all had a good health and positive life attitude.

June 2008

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