Thursday, May 5, 2016

6 Proven Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

By Kris Gunnars, BSc 
April, 2016

For centuries, vinegar has been used for various household and cooking purposes.
It is also an ancient folk remedy, claimed to help with all sorts of health problems.
The most popular vinegar in the natural health community is Apple Cider Vinegar.
It is claimed to lead to have all sorts of benefits, some of which are supported by science.
This includes weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and improved symptoms of diabetes.
Here are 6 health benefits of apple cider vinegar, that are supported by scientific research.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar is High in Acetic Acid, Which Has Potent Biological Effects

Vinegar is made in a two-step process, related to how alcohol is made.
The first step exposes crushed apples (or apple cider) to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turn them into alcohol.
In the second step, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, which further ferment the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid… the main active compound in vinegar.
In French, the word “vinegar” actually means “sour wine.”
Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s) also contains “mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance.
Some people believe that the “mother” is responsible for most of the health benefits, although there are currently no studies to support this.
Apple cider vinegar only contains about 3 calories per tablespoon, which is very low.
There are not many vitamins or minerals in it, but it does contain a tiny amount of potassium. Quality apple cider vinegar also contains some amino acids and antioxidants.
Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting the sugars from apples. This turns them into acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar.

2. Acetic Acid is a Potent Antimicrobial and Can Kill Some Types of Bacteria

Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria.
It has traditionally been used for cleaning and disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts and ear infections.
However, many of these applications have currently not been confirmed by research.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar for wound cleaning over two thousand years ago.
Vinegar has been used as a food preservative, and studies show that it inhibits bacteria (like E. coli) from growing in the food and spoiling it.
If you’re looking for a natural way to preserve your food… then apple cider vinegar could be highly useful.
There have also been anecdotal reports of diluted apple cider vinegar helping with acne when applied on the skin, but I didn’t find any research to confirm this so take it with a grain of salt.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar May Lower Blood Sugar Levels, Which is Very Useful For Diabetics

By far the most successful application of vinegar to date, is in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugars, either in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.
However, elevated blood sugar can also be a problem in people who don’t have diabetes… it is believed to be a major cause of ageing and various chronic diseases.
So, pretty much everyone should benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels stable.
The most effective (and healthiest) way to do that is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar may also have a powerful effect.
Vinegar has been shown to have numerous benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels:
  • Improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34% and significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses.
  • Reduces blood sugar by 34% when eating 50 grams of white bread.
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugars by 4%.
  • Numerous other studies, in both rats and humans, show that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meal.
  • For these reasons, vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low to normal for other reasons.
    If you’re currently taking blood sugar lowering medications, then check with your doctorbefore increasing your intake of apple cider vinegar.
    Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after meals.

    4. There Are Some Studies Showing That Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help With Weight Loss

  • Given that vinegar lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight.
    Several human studies suggest that vinegar can increase satiety, help you eat fewer calories and even lead to actual pounds lost on the scale.
    Vinegar along with high-carb meals can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day.
    By reducing calorie intake, this should translate to reduced weight over time.
    A study in obese individuals showed that daily vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat, waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss:
    • 15mL (1 tablespoon): Lost 2.6 pounds, or 1.2 kilograms.
    • 30mL (2 tablespoons): Lost 3.7 pounds, or 1.7 kilograms.
    However… keep in mind that this study went on for 12 weeks, so the true effects on body weight seem to be rather modest.
    That being said, just adding/subtracting single foods or ingredients rarely has a noticeable effect on weight.
    It’s the entire diet/lifestyle that counts… you need to combine several effective methods to see results.
    Overall, it seems like apple cider vinegar may be useful as a weight loss aid, mainly by promoting satiety and lowering glucose and insulin levels.
    But it won’t work any miracles on its own.
  • 5. Apple Cider Vinegar May Have Some Benefits For Heart Health

  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is currently the world’s biggest cause of death.
    It is known that several measurable biological factors are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
    Several of these “risk factors” have been shown to be improved by vinegar consumption… but all of the studies were done in rats.
    These rat studies showed that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
    Apple cider vinegar may also contain the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized, a crucial step in the heart disease process.
    There are also some studies showing that vinegar reduces blood pressure (a major risk factor) in rats.
    Unfortunately, what works in animals doesn’t always work in humans.
    The only human evidence is an observational study from Harvard showing that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease.
    But this type of study can only show an association, it can not prove that the vinegarcaused anything.
  • Bottom Line: Several animal studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure, but this needs to be confirmed in human studies.

    6. Vinegar May be Protective Against Cancer

  • Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.
    There is a lot of hype online about the anti-cancer effects of apple cider vinegar.
    Some studies have shown that vinegar can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
    However, all of the studies on this were done in isolated cells in test tubes, or rats, which proves nothing about what happens in a living, breathing human.
    Additionally, most of the studies were done on rice vinegar, not apple cider vinegar.
    That being said, some observational studies (which don’t prove anything) have shown that vinegar ingestion is linked to decreased esophageal cancer in China, but increased bladder cancer in Serbia.
    Overall… it is possible that apple cider vinegar may help to prevent cancer, but it is definitely premature to make any recommendations based on the current research.
    Bottom Line: Some studies in test tubes and rats have shown that rice vinegar can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors.

    Side Effects, Dosage and How to Use it

  • There are a lot of wild claims about apple cider vinegar on the internet.
    Some say that it can increase energy levels and have all sorts of beneficial effects on health.
    Unfortunately… many of these claims are not supported by science.
    Of course, absence of proof isn’t proof that something isn’t happening and anecdote often ends up becoming supported by science down the line.
    That being said, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for more studies, since research on natural health products like these are both few and far between.
    From the little evidence available, I think that apple cider vinegar may be useful and is definitely a good candidate for some self-experimentation if you’re interested in it.
    At the very least, apple cider vinegar seems to be safe. There are no side effects noted with normal consumption.
    The best way to incorporate it into your diet is to use it in your cooking… for salad dressings, mayonnaise and that sort of thing.
    Some people also like to dilute it in water and drink it as a beverage. Common dosages range from 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) to 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 mL) per day.
    Definitely don’t go above that, because excess consumption may have harmful effects.
    It is also possible to take it in pill/tablet form, but I don’t recommend that because a 2005 study showed that the true vinegar content of these supplements was highly questionable.
    There is also a report of a woman having an apple cider vinegar tablet stuck in her throat, which led to esophageal burns.
    It is recommended to use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the “mother.” Bragg’s is by far the most popular brand these days.
    Apple cider vinegar also has various other non-health related uses like hair conditioning, skin care, dental care, pet use and as a cleaning agent (to name a few).
    These can be highly useful for people who like to keep things as natural and chemical-free as possible.
    At the end of the day, apple cider vinegar appears to be very healthy.
    It’s not a “miracle” or a “cure-all” like some people seem to believe, but it does clearly have some important health benefits, especially for blood sugar and weight control.

Best Cornerback Of The Redskins....

Frankly in my mind, Bashaud Breeland is the BEST cornerback the Redskins have right now. Nothing personal to to the other corner backs we have. Just haven't seen enough from the other cornerbacks playing in the Redskins system to judge so I have to give to Breeland. 

DeAngelo Hall has moved to safety and with the injuries he has had couldn't take losing him playing cornerback now. Has lost a step also. Chris Culliver has not played anything yet to say. Looked good in practice but how many games to judge. He hasn't played alot so I cannot judge his play in the Redskins system. Played very well for the 49ers. It was a good signing. Josh Norman played exceptionally well for the Panthers but who is to say its the system or if he is just "that" good. Hope he is!

We have saw people come on and off the Redskins squat via free agency who just didn't pan out. Means those two, Culliver and Norman, have alot to prove. Hall looks to be a pretty good safety so doesn't as to him coming back as a cornerback. Breeland when really on his game plays close to it (didn't say how close or near) but plays toe to toe bump and run like Champ Bailey did when he was with the Redskins.

Game tapes might not show for the first couple of games but last 10 he was a monster. Big progression in his game. Sky is the limit if he continues to progress. Hope he does because when he is playing corner while I watch the games I see nothing but a SHUTDOWN corner in the next few years.

Friday, October 16, 2015

9 Reasons To Love Burpees

9 Reasons To LOVE Burpees


We have all experienced it, the love/hate relationship toward the good old burpee. Despite the physical and mental fatigue, the benefits of burpees far outweigh its challenges. Here are nine reasons to ditch that “Buck Furpees” mentality!
Plain and Simple
It doesn’t take a professional athlete to learn a burpee. This movement is simple, straightforward and does not take a lot of skill. One of the greatest things about them is that they will always remain a challenging workout for the beginning and  experienced athlete.
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
No matter how tired or drained you may be during a workout, you can always manage to pick yourself up of the floor and flop back down again. Movements like box jumps or toes to bars require skill, thought and some explosive energy. Burpees on the other hand, can be a continuous movement, no matter how fast or slow you are going.
Functional Gains
Burpees are the definition of functional fitness. It’s simple; do them often, and you will get stronger. Not only will you see improvement in your workouts, but you will also find everyday tasks like carrying groceries from the car become a challenge of the past.
Add Them to Any Workout
Burpees are sure to take your workout from intense to insane. This heart pumping movement adds even more of a burn to any workout. Whether your WOD incorporates lifting, cardio or gymnastics, throwing in burpees are a great way to add challenge to the chain of movements you are about to dominate.
CrossFit Burpee
No Equipment Required
Have you ever been on a beach or in the middle of a hike and thought; man, I wish I could snatch right now! Unfortunately, this movement requires equipment that is hard to take just about anywhere. Burpees require no equipment whatsoever, just you and your motivation. This factor makes burpees the ultimate travel workout.
Full Body Workout
Who doesn’t love a movement that strengthens every major muscle group? Legs, arms, abs, you name it! This is why burpees are such a challenge. The repetition of a full body movement is going to make every part of your body burn, including your heart!
Boost Endurance
Want a sure way to get fit quick? This is a movement that will make you stronger and faster in any workout. There is a reason why several different sports all incorporate burpees into their training. Stick to burpees, and you will see your endurance skyrocket!
Burpees burn major calories. Research shows that high intensity movements burns 50% more fat than conventional cardio. It is also great for improving your metabolism. This explosive repetition will leave your body burning calories all day!
Endless Variations
Alright, so now you all love burpees, right? One last great factor about this movement is the endless amount of variations you can create. Burpee pull ups, box overs, or bar facing additions are all great examples of getting fancy with your burpee workouts.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Increase the Incline to Prevent Knee Pain

By Jennifer Gruenemay, ACE-Certified

Did you know that running on a flat treadmill may actually harm your knees? Treadmills simulate running by pulling a moving belt across an immobile surface, which doesn’t perfectly replicate running on level ground. In fact, this motion actually translates into running slightly downhill.

As you probably know, running downhill is harder on your knees and shins than running uphill.

An easy solution to this pesky problem is to increase the incline setting on your treadmill to just a 1% incline. This small increase levels out the surface below you as you run, taking the pressure off of your knees and refocusing the workload to your glutes and hamstrings.

If your knees have been bothering you because of the treadmill, experiment with the 1% incline for a few days before you decide whether the change is helping you or not. If your knees are still giving you trouble, it might be a good idea to take a break from the treadmill and hop on the elliptical trainer, which will give your knees a rest while allowing you to stick with your cardio plan.

As soon as they feel better, hop back on the treadmill and don’t forget to set your incline to 1%. Or better yet, get outside for a jog and enjoy some fresh air.

Monday, June 1, 2015

5 Tips for Your Next Grocery Trip

Fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy, well-balanced diet, and these tips will help you choose the best ones at the market:
  1. Select fruits and vegetables that are in season.
  2. When you can, choose local produce. It supports your local economy and gives you the most bang for your nutritional buck.
  3. Choose fruits and veggies that are firm and free of cuts or bruises.
  4. Do a smell check. Fruits such as strawberries and peaches smell the best when they're most flavorful.
  5. When choosing greens, pick ones that are sturdy and deep green in color. Steer clear of ones that look yellow or brown.