Nutrition is Sprouting this Spring!

Nutrition is Sprouting this Spring!

Alfalfa sprouts were the rage in the U.S. in the 1970’s, but with a new millennium comes new options for nutritious early leaves and shoots. Sprouts are the first growth from the seeds of vegetables, grains and beans and are higher in protein per ounce than their full-grown counterparts. While these tiny whole-food powerhouses may be in the back row of your grocer’s produce section, they are at the forefront of nutrition. Here is a guide to what they are, what nutrients they contain, and how to use them.

Sprout: Alfafa

  • Nutrients: 35% protein, 1.3 g Protein/Cup, Vitamins A, B, C, E, K, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc
  • Comments: Delicate flavor. Great with egg dishes.

Sprout: Adzuki

  • Nutrients: 25% protein, Vitamins A, C, E, Iron, Niacin, Calcium
  • Comments:Use in wraps and salads, or slightly heated in soups or casseroles.

Sprout: Broccoli

  • Nutrients: anti-cancer Sulphorophane
  • Comments: Mild peppery flavor. Include in green juices and smoothies.

Sprout: Buckwheat

  • Nutrients: Carbohydrates, 15% protein, Vitamins A, C, E, Calcium, Lecithin
  • Comments: Fold into pancake and waffle batter. Use to make energy bars with dates, coconut oil, cocoa and ground nuts.

Sprout: Clover

  • Nutrients: 30% protein, Vitamins A, B, C, E, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, anti-cancer Isoflavones
  • Comments: Top grilled cheese sandwiches. Add to coleslaw.

Sprout: Fenugreek

  • Nutrients: 30% protein, Vitamin A, Iron, Niacin, Calcium, Digestive aid
  • Comments: Compliments rice dishes.

Sprout: Garbanzo (chickpea)

  • Nutrients: Carbohydrates, 20% protein, Vitamins A, C, E, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium
  • Comments: Use in Mediterranean salads or to extend burger patties. Roast and season for a snack.

Sprout: Lentil

  • Nutrients: 25% protein, 6.9 g protein/Cup, Vitamins A, B, C, E, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus
  • Comments: Peppery flavor. Enjoy in baked beans, potato salad, soups or with steamed veggies. Can be eaten raw.

Sprout: Mung Bean

  • Nutrients: 20% protein, 3.2 g protein/Cup, Vitamins A, C, E, Iron, Potassium, Fiber
  • Comments: Hardy for light cooking and stir-fry. Great with Asian dishes.

Sprout: Mustard

  • Nutrients: 2.5 g protein/Cup
  • Comments: Spicy flavor similar to horseradish. Delicate sprout. Nice on eggs.

Sprout: Onion

  • Nutrients: Vitamins A, C, D
  • Comments: Spicy flavor.

Sprout: Pea

  • Nutrients: 20% protein, Vitamins A, B, C
  • Comments: Great sautéed with garlic.

Sprout: Radish

  • Nutrients: 1.4 g protein/Cup, Vitamin C, Potassium
  • Comments: Spicy flavor. Add to coleslaw. Use with soft cheese dips.

Sprout: Soybean

  • Nutrients: 9.0 g protein/Cup, Vitamin C, folate Fiber
  • Comments: Complements casseroles and stews.

Sprout: Sunflower

  • Nutrients: Vitamins B complex, D, E, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Lecithin
  • Comments: Use in green juices and smoothies. Add to wraps and sushi.

Sprout: Wheat

  • Nutrients: Carbohydrates, 15% protein, 8 g protein/Cup, Vitamins B complex, C, E, Pantothenic acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus
  • Comments: (seed = sprouted wheat, long green shoots = wheatgrass) Use wheatgrass in green juices and smoothies. Cook sprouted wheat and use in place of rice or eat as porridge.

TIPS:

  • Use in sandwiches and salads to add texture and moistness.
  • Buy only fresh sprouts – those that are crisp with moist white roots.
  • Farmers markets typically have more varieties of sprouts than supermarkets.
  • Sprouts last from 3-7 days if kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
  • Grown your own sprouts, with or without soil, and harvest in less than 2 weeks!

– Debbie J., MS, RD

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This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Sources: 

  • International Sprout Growers Association
  • USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, release 28
  • Vegetarian Nutrition dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

Commit to Fit

Do you have a fitness goal? Let us know here! To learn more about Commit to Fit, click here.

Goals, Commitments, Community

These are our most recent members who have committed to their fitness goals.

Todd S.

“It’s a committed lifestyle.”

Denny T.

Denny’s fitness goal is to stay healthier overall. We are happy to see her stick to her goal at LA Fitness!

Josiah J.

“My fitness goals are:
– 11% body fat (from 19%)
– 160lbs (from 175lbs)
– 3:05 Marathon (or 7min pace, down from 8min)
– 4min handstand (from 1min)”

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Special Event For Augie’s Quest

Special Event For Augie’s Quest

On Saturday, February 25th, all LA Fitness Group Fitness classes will participate in ACTION FOR ALS! From Bodyworks to Cycling to Kickbox Cardio to Yoga and Zumba® classes, our dynamic and diverse classes will team up with Augie’s Quest in the fight for a cure for ALS! This is a fun day that you will not want to miss!

On Saturday, February 25th, all LA Fitness Group Fitness classes will participate in ACTION FOR ALS! From Bodyworks to Cycling to Kickbox Cardio to Yoga and Zumba® classes, our dynamic and diverse classes will team up with Augie’s Quest in the fight for a cure for ALS! This is a fun day that you will not want to miss!

Donors who give $100 or more will receive a complimentary event shirt, while supplies last!

Donate $20 or more and take action by taking a class near you to help find a cure for ALS!

For over 6 years, LA Fitness has supported Augie’s Quest, a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for ALS. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that can impact anyone.

To learn more about LA Fitness’ efforts to help support Augie’s Quest, please visit www.LAFitnessCares.com.

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Donations collected online only. Zumba® is a registered trademark of Zumba Fitness LLC. ©2017 Fitness International, LLC. All rights reserved.

Share In Good Habits To Keep Fit By Dining With A Friend

Share In Good Habits To Keep Fit By Dining With A Friend

SHARE IN GOOD HABITS TO KEEP FIT BY DINING WITH A FRIEND

Workout with a friend & dine with a friend. Good news – if your friend is a healthy eater you may make better food choices, too! Simply put, we use what others eat as a guide for our own eating behavior. People are prone to mimic the behaviors of others that they want to affiliate with, often without conscious awareness. Simply observing others making lower-calorie food choices increases the likelihood that you’ll make similar choices. More than “monkey see, monkey do,” this reflection of action is with intent and direction.

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VIP Rewards is here! If you want to share a workout experience with a friend and they are not yet a member, you can have a 14-day VIP Guest Pass sent to them. And if they join LA Fitness within 90 days of using the 14-day Guest Pass, you’ll earn 1,000 points to redeem for rewards.*

Positive messages in your environment work, too. Reading a daily affirmation or reminder about healthy eating can also impact decisions and actions at mealtime. Consider signing up to receive a daily inspirational quote to your phone or email each morning. Subscribe to our blog to be notified of new Living Healthy articles.

So what does that mean if you are a healthy eater, but your meal partner is not? Consider the dining opportunity as your chance to model healthy food choices and intake for him or her. The effect is subtle and can happen over time with repeated occurrences, so no verbal discussion about nutrition or health with your friend is necessary, which may be construed as unwanted “advice” and end up being counter-productive. Just set a good example of eating nutritious foods in appropriate portions, and order first if you are at a restaurant.

If your wider social circle regularly consumes unhealthy foods, don’t conform to the majority! They may unwittingly undermine your intentions to be healthy. Keep in mind that when others ask you to share in their indulgences, they don’t just want you to enjoy that specific food or drink, but may really be looking for your acceptance and approval of their choices by your participation. It generally takes three polite “No, thank you” responses before people quit asking. Your demonstration of self-restraint might be the influence they need to do the same.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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Heart Healthy Month

Heart Healthy Month

Heart-Healthy Fats for Every Body

Debbie J., MS, RD contributed this article –

We’re on a mission to help Augie Nieto’s nonprofit charity find a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), which is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that can impact anyone. Augie was diagnosed with ALS over 10 years ago and established Augie’s Quest to help find a cure for ALS. For over 5 years, LA Fitness has held an annual fundraiser each February to raise funds for Augie’s Quest. This year’s fundraiser, Action for ALS, will be on Saturday, February 25.

To stay committed to healthy eating & help improve his longevity, Augie focuses on a nutritious diet that includes extra virgin olive oil and good fats. Choosing the best types of fat is indispensable for your heart health and weight management.

You may have heard that a high intake of saturated fat, trans fat and dietary cholesterol raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. But did you know, recent studies show that consuming unsaturated fat as the predominant form of dietary fat, combined with adequate omega-3 fats, actually protects your heart from coronary artery disease1? The impact is even greater in combination with a plant-based diet low in salt and sugar2 and in conjunction with an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as the main forms of carbohydrates1.

 

Augie Nieto, Founder of Augie’s Quest

 

 

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Substituting saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol production by the liver, meaning less potential for artery-clogging plaque. Keeping the “pipes clear” with healthy fats and adequate fiber is only one piece of the puzzle. Preventing damage to the epithelial cells lining the vascular wall and avoiding high blood pressure are also critical to avoiding stroke and heart attack. Unsaturated fats do both. In particular, olive oil’s polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant functions3 to protect epithelial cells.

What’s the difference?

Virgin olive oil is result of cold extraction of the fat from olives, resulting in acidity less than 2%. Extra virgin olive oil is a higher quality virgin oil with less than 0.8% acidity.

 

The Mediterranean diet, of which olive oil is the predominant fat source, is associated with increased longevity3 as well as reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, improved health, lower mortality, and prevention of cancer and age-related cognitive decline as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Olive oil has bioactive compounds that alter cells’ gene expression, including those active in pathways of the aging process. In short, cells and tissues live better, longer.

Changing the fat that you eat may also change your body fat. While weight loss is multi-factorial, studies indicate that a high monounsaturated fat diet induces more weight loss compared to one with high saturated fat4. Why so? Olive oil, largely comprised of unsaturated fat, also contains phenolic compounds which have been shown to positively affect insulin sensitivity3 and therefore blood sugar control. These benefits are metabolically beneficial and that translates to better fat burning.

How to maximize your heart-healthy fats without increasing calories:
  • Use virgin olive oil for cooking in place of vegetable oil
  • Replace cream cheese with nut butter on bagels
  • Substitute marinara or pesto for alfredo sauce on pasta
  • Choose fish (omega-3 source) instead of meat three times per week
  • Opt for avocado instead of cheese on sandwiches
  • Try hummus in place of cream-based dips
  • Use an oil-based spread on toast & rolls instead of butter
  • Munch on a handful of nuts instead of a bowlful of chips

Use healthy unsaturated fats to your advantage, and your body will thank you in the long run!

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

References:

  1. Optimal Diets for Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease. Hu, F; Willet, W. Journal of the American Medical Association 2002; 288 (20): 2569-2578.
  2. A Plant-Based Diet, Atherogenesis, and Coronary Artery Disease Prevention. Tuso, P; Stoll, S; Li, W. Permanente Journal 2015 Winter; 19 (1): 62-67.
  3. Olive Oil and the Hallmarks of Aging. Fernández del Río, L.; Gutiérrez-Casado, E.; Varela-López, A.; Villalba, J.M. Molecules2016, 21 (2), 163.
  4. Effect of Dietary Fatty Acid Composition on Substrate Utilization and Body Weight Maintenance in Humans. Krishnan, S and Cooper, J. European Journal of Nutrition 2014 53 (3): 691-710.

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