Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ask me, and more!

So after taking the time to sit down and put thought into the last post, I got to thinking... I should make something of this. Next thing you know, I now have a column on in which I'll be answering all your endurance sports-related questions and beyond. Everything from training to nutrition to sports psychology to exercise physiology to racing to exercise testing.... whatever you can think of! So keep the questions coming, thanks :)

In the meantime, I wanted to share some info I was reading up on recently before bed (see what good comes when there's no TV in your room?!).....

Spices & Their Health Benefits

Disclaimer: Much of the info below comes from Nutrition News magazine, as well as a little extra research I did to find out more and check for further evidence of the purported benefits. Overall, I'm not an expert on the topic and am not saying this info is 100% guaranteed, but it's better than recommending drugs :)

Mustard Seed
-Eating just 1 teaspoon of hot mustard can boost metabolism 20-25% several hours after eating, which will burn an additional 50+ calories of a 700-cal meal.
Rich in calcium, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

-About 1-1 1/2 tsp per day can increase metabolism and aid in weight loss/maintenance. A couple reasons for this: it helps reduce blood sugar and utilize glucose instead of storing it, and it can increase thermogenesis, aka heat production, causing metabolism to go up to counteract that extra heat.
-Reportedly, it can even enhance brain function! Hmmm.
-Apparently you're not supposed to consume more than 2 tsp per day; eating too much can be bad for the liver over time.

-The curcumin found in this spice is a strong anti-inflammatory. It can also prevent blood clots, fight infection, help with digestive and liver problems, relieve arthritis and cystic fibrosis, fight cancer, etc. And just fyi, turmeric is a safe anti-inflammatory compared to others.
-Rich in iron (2 tsp = 10% daily value)

Capsicum (Chilli/Cayenne Pepper)
-Increase endorphins, high in vitamin C
-Weight-loss aid by increasing fat oxidation and acting as appetite suppressant

Black Pepper
-Can increase metabolism by stimulating breakdown of fat cells, etc. The part of pepper that's potent for this is piperine (puh-puh-pppeeeee... enough p's? lol)
-Helps with nutrient absroption.
-Fresh ground pepper is best

-Major antioxidant that fights free radicals and boosts immune system
-Can boost metabolism up to 20% after ingestion
-Alleviates nausea/upset stomach

-Major antioxidant (over 40x more powerful than an apple) with anti-inflammatory properties and rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

-Can boost memory and brain function
-Powerful antioxidant

The list of benefits from spices and herbs goes on... but I'll leave you with this:

Spices said to help reduce flatulence (because I know all you out there in training are eating a lot and might suffer from gas every now and then lol):
Black Pepper




  1. mmm I LOVE cooking with all these spices! Do you know if they still have these benefits when cooked over heat? Thanks!

  2. I use Tumeric a you know why. hehe.

  3. Congrats on the new column. I love the strength training advice you're giving; so much so that i sent whatever few people I could over to check it out:

  4. I found Tumeric in as a supplement a few weeks ago and started taking it.

    What are your thoughts on supplements overall?

  5. I just saw all of this spice information on Dr Oz, he must be getting his info from you:) More info out there, the better!!