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Spinach makes you stronger!

posted Jun 25, 2012, 10:01 AM by JustBenke   [ updated Jun 25, 2012, 10:18 AM ]

A team from Karolinska institutet in Sweden has found that it is the high level of nitrate in spinach that helps build muscles.  
Ben Svensson
This from Daily Mail :


“Spinach really does give us extra strength, scientists say, but it's not because it is full of iron.

For although the green leafy vegetable does have high levels of the nutrient it also contains a substance that makes it harder for the body to absorb it.

Instead a team from Karolinska Institutet, in Sweden, found that it is the high level of nitrate in spinach that helps build up the biceps.

They found mice supplied with nitrate in their drinking water developed significantly stronger muscles by stimulating two key proteins.

The quantity of nitrate that the mice received was roughly equivalent to that which a person would obtain by eating 200 to 300 grams of fresh spinach or two to three beetroots a day.”

Olive Oil

posted Nov 6, 2011, 8:20 PM by JustBenke   [ updated Nov 6, 2011, 9:08 PM ]

I started to take 2 tablespoons of olive oil at night because someone told me it would be good for my blood pressure and blood sugar. After about a week, a small miracle happened, I slept a whole night without waking up. I had not slept well for over a year and I hardly dared to ask myself why. What had I done differently? The only thing I had changed was taking the two tablespoons of olive oil every night. Nah… that could not be it, that would be too easy. Could it be that easy? How could I test this? I stopped taking the olive oil. Three nights later, I was back in my old routine, waking up in the middle of the night, up walking without being able to sleep. Test number two, back to my olive oil remedy. A couple of nights later I was sleeping like a baby again! I’ll be darn, it worked…but why? Now I was really curious so I sat down in front of my computer and started to research it. I found numerous articles that stated the fact that olive oil can help you sleep better… and so much more.
Ben Svensson

This from


Researchers can’t get over the astounding healing properties of olive oil. A staple food in the Mediterranean, this delicious oil has contributed to the cuisine and health of people in the region for centuries. Extra-virgin olive oil is a potent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It reduces inflammation in the body, helps control blood sugar and supports overworked adrenal glands — a key issue for anyone trying to heal from insomnia. Did someone say miracle food?

1. Adrenal stress is linked to fatigue. Under chronic stress, the adrenal glands pump out too much cortisol and other stress hormones to help the body weather the storm. This always-on stress environment leads to high levels of oxidative damage and the release of too many free radical molecules. Free radicals damage the delicate ephithelial cells that line our organs and arteries and lead directly to chronic diseases. If you don’t manage your stress, you will quickly slide into adrenal fatigue and your body will start to break down.

2. Free radicals worsen chronic fatigue. In a study, researchers found that elevated free radicals contribute to the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Increased consumption of antioxidants may help reduce these symptoms. That’s good news for people with chronic insomnia and adrenal fatigue, who display many of the same symptoms as CFS.

3. DHPEA-EDA in olive oil fights free radicals. Extra-virgin olive oil contains more of the polyphenol compound DHPEA-EDA, an important antioxidant, than any other oil: up to half the antioxidants in olive oil are DHPEA-EDA. According to a recent study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, DHPED-EDA is the most effective substance known for fighting free radical damage, even when taken in low concentrations.

4. Extra-virgin olive oil cools inflammation. Studies show that fatigue sufferers have higher levels of inflammation in their bodies. This increases insulin resistance and makes blood sugar unstable. As a result, the adrenal glands have to work harder. Olive oil interrupts that cycle, giving your adrenals a well-deserved break. In addition to containing the potent anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, extra-virgin olive oil is also one of the best sources of both oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, antioxidants that also reduce inflammatory chemicals in the body.

5. Olive oil stabilizes blood sugar spikes. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that helps control blood sugar (glucose). A study published in the journal of the German Diabetes Association found that glucose levels were lower in people who ate monounsaturated fats than those who avoided all fats. You must eat healthy fats every day for good health, particularly if you are managing blood sugar problems.

6. Handle with care. Extra-virgin olive oil is best when fresh, unfiltered, dark golden-yellow or green in color, cold-pressed and packaged in dark glass bottles. The extra-virgin olive oil that gives you a peppery hit in the back of your throat has the most antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. These qualities fade with time, so buy smaller bottles instead of gallon-sized jugs that will be well aged by the time you get to the bottom of the container. Purchase the highest-quality olive oil you can afford, as much of the lower-priced varieties have been mixed with less expensive oils. (For more information on how to track down high-quality fresh olive oil, click here.)

Heat destroys the healing benefits of extra-virgin olive oil. It’s best to keep it in a cool, dark place. Refrigeration is an option to maintain its potency and freshness — the oil will go semisolid and cloudy, but will quickly come to room temperature for use. You can keep a small amount in a dark, tightly capped  bottle on the counter to toss onto salads or drizzle over food that is already cooked. Use pure (refined) olive oil to cook with at very low temps, because it is more stable when heated. Coconut oil, which contains monounsaturated fats but has a high flashpoint, is better for cooking at higher temperatures.


posted Nov 1, 2011, 9:10 PM by JustBenke

Have you been thinking about exercising more? Maybe you could just start walking 10 – 15 minutes during your lunch break. We have all heard the news that you need to walk 10,000 steps a day. So how many steps do you take a day? Most of us know what a pedometer is and how it works; but I just read about the Striiv, a small pedometer that does more than counting steps. Not much bigger than an Apple Nano, with a high resolution color screen. You can play games on it too... but, the interesting part is that you can use your steps to donate to different charities. So you can get some exercise and help others at the same time.  I like it!


Using a “Trumotion” technology the device can sense if you are running, walking or climbing stairs. You can connect it to your computer and update applications, games and post stuff to Facebook.


This from Striiv:

With Striiv, every step you take counts towards a donation to charity– at no cost to you. When you walk, Striiv and other sponsors make donations on your behalf. The more you walk, the more you give.


posted Oct 1, 2011, 8:35 AM by JustBenke   [ updated Oct 2, 2011, 9:55 PM ]

Do you have old stuff lying around your place that is in your way? Maybe you just want to dump it or feed it to a goat.
Maybe you should give it to a goat instead. Give it to and earn some good karma at the same time.


According to the KarmaGoat website:


“KarmaGoat is a local marketplace where you buy and sell items with proceeds

 going to charity.


A transaction on KarmaGoat is a contract between a seller ("Seller"), a buyer ("Buyer")
and KarmaGoat. Seller agrees to transfer ownership of the item to Buyer, in exchange
for which Buyer pays the purchase price to KarmaGoat. KarmaGoat forwards 85% of
the purchase price to the nonprofit selected by Seller and retains 15% to operate,
enhance and grow the marketplace.”

My Fitness Pal

posted Sep 29, 2011, 8:39 PM by JustBenke   [ updated Oct 4, 2011, 4:22 PM ]

My Fitness Pal


For someone that loves food as much as I do, I need someone or something that gets me back in line and back on track again. I do not have the time (or the desire) to go to diet clubs and weigh myself in public, no thank you!


A friend of mine introduced me to MyFitnessPal. A place that keeps me on track and stops me from going crazy with all the wonderful food out there. This little tool really works! I can reach it from any computer or even use their mobile app from my phone. Best of all… it’s free!

So if you are like me and want to keep track, or maybe just find out why your scale is giving you the same boring answer, give MyFitnessPal a try.  What do you have to lose, except maybe a pound or two…

Khan Academy

posted Sep 27, 2011, 8:02 AM by JustBenke   [ updated Oct 2, 2011, 9:57 PM ]

Mental health is also important. For those of you who have struggled with math, or more likely have struggled to help your kids with math, know that mental strength is important.


I have gone through both. Those of you who are parents probably recognize these words, “No, dad that’s not the way the teacher is showing it!” What puzzles me, is how is it that the math that they are learning…which is hundreds, if not thousands, of years old… has suddenly changed over a decade or two!


Now there is a free site that can help you; the Khan Academy. I took it for a spin and I really liked it. For you out there that is struggling with math, and for you parents that are losing your hair, this site just may help ease your headache!
This from the Khan Academy:

With a library of over 2,400 covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 180 practice exercises, we're on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.

Here a sample, "Simple Equations."

Simple Equations


posted Dec 24, 2010, 10:27 AM by JustBenke   [ updated Oct 2, 2011, 9:59 PM ]

In terms of U.S. fruit consumption, blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries. Blueberries are not only popular, but also repeatedly ranked in the U.S. diet as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings.
Given the wide variety of antioxidant nutrients present in blueberries, it is not surprising to find research studies showing improved antioxidant defenses in body systems that need special protection from oxidative stress, like the cardiovascular system. But what is surprising about the blueberry research is its whole body relevance. It is not only the cardiovascular system that has been shown to have strengthened antioxidant status following consumption of blueberries. Blueberries benefit virtually every body system studied to date! ( The Worlds Healthiest Foods)

Cardiovascular Benefits

Cognitive Benefits

Blood Sugar Benefits

Eye Health

Anti-cancer Benefits


If you want to find out more about this super berry follow this link:

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