Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘asthma’

A Breathe Of Fresh Caffeine?

Posted by terrepruitt on June 24, 2014

Wow, you might not believe I have more “stuff” going on.  More on that later.  I am sure I will write a post or two.  You know I always share, it just takes some time sometime.  So, instead – highlights of my day:  a student who has been away from my Nia classes for a bit came to class today.  That was wonderful, unexpected and very timely.  Another student in one of my yoga classes came to class with his own mat.  That put a huge smile on my face.  I took that as a sign that he is “into” it.  Later when I told him I was so happy to see him have his own mat, he said, “Yeah, I got to stick with it!!!!”  Thrilling!  Yes, gotta keep looking at the bright spots.  While perusing my cache of “topics to post about”, I came across one I found interesting.  Could be something you are aware of, perhaps I had heard of it too, but forgot.  I think the studies were done in 2009.  Did you know caffeine could, possibly, help people with asthma breathe better?

There is an article about a small study showing caffeine worked as a bronchodilator.  “A bronchodilator is a substance that dilates the bronchi and bronchioles, decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway and increasing airflow to the lungs.” per Wiki

The small study of 75 people with mild to moderate asthma was done.  Six trails showed 55 people had improved lung function for up to fours hours after consuming caffeine.

A study at the Indiana University show that caffeine an hour before exercise can significantly reduce exercise induced asthma.  I cannot find a link to the Indiana University study, but there are numerous articles about it that surface when a search is done.  One article on ScienceDaily said that it was LARGE amounts of caffeine that were used in this study.  The article stated “9 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight”.  Ok check my figuring on this using the information from the Mayo Clinic regarding a regular brewed cup of coffee, which is 8 oz brewed coffee has 95-200 mg of caffeine.  That is a big difference, but that is ok, it will still work in my “figuring”.  Let’s use the top, 200 mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee.  Well, lets say average man is 80 kilograms (176.37 pounds), that would be 720 mgs of caffeine.  That is roughly 4.5 cups of strong coffee.  Is that right?  The article also said that smaller amounts – 3 mg – 6 mg per kilogram of body weight “also reduced the wheezing, coughing and other symptoms of” exercise induced asthma.

Interesting.  I know many people who use caffeine to help fuel their workouts.  I know many people who use caffeine to help fuel their day.  So, while I am by NO MEANS saying to use caffeine instead of any physician prescribed medication for asthma . . . I just think it is interesting.  Since it could be that many people with asthma are drinking coffee anyway. I just like when I come across tidbits of information.

What do you think?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Omega 3 – The Fat We Should Eat

Posted by terrepruitt on September 1, 2011

I have mentioned Omega 3 before, but I haven’t said a lot about it.  I thought sharing a few things about it would be nice.  Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid required by the body.  “Essential” means that our body must have it but can’t make it so we need to obtain the nutrient from our diet.  Since our cell membranes are made up of fatty acids it makes sense that our body needs fatty acids to function properly.  The key is making sure our bodies have the right kind of fat.  Omega 3 contains three fatty acids, a-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and is considered a polyunsaturated fat.  Polyunsaturated fat, unlike saturated fat, does not harden at room temperature.  Wanting a fat that makes up cell membranes that does not harden is another thing that makes sense, right?  Nutrients and waste have an easier time passing in and out of a cell membrane with a liquid consistency than one that is solid.

Research has been done in regards to Omega 3 on diseases and ailments with varied results.  Studies continue to reveal Omega 3 helps reduce heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Omega 3 helps reduce inflammation.  We know chronic inflammation is not good because it is linked with or even thought to be the cause of many diseases.   Omega 3 could help with autoimmune diseases of which inflammation is present such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes.   With many diseases there is often multiple issues so it makes sense that if something helps with one thing it might help with another if it is a symptom or a result of a disease.  For instance, many people with diabetes have high cholesterol so, if Omega 3 helps lower the LDL and raise the HDL, that would be of assistance to someone with diabetes.  Science is continuing to discover things about Omega 3 and how each fatty acid has different effects on the body.

Omega 3 is interesting in that one of the three ALA is actually not used by the body until it is converted to the other two.  Some foods contain ALA, some contain EPA, and others contain DHA or a combination of them.  So as always recommended it is good to eat a variety of foods.  Eating a variety of foods containing Omega 3 will help ensure you get what you need.  Some of the food Omega 3 can be found in is cold water fish, flax seed, walnuts, and what some are calling “Omega 3 eggs”.  At present there is not a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Omega 3, but the consensus is that Americans should be eating more.

According to a the World’s Healthiest Foods website:  “the National Institutes of Health recommended that people consume at least 2% of their total daily calories as omega-3 fats.”

You might have heard the claim that Canola Oil is a good source of Omega 3, but then you might have also heard the processing the rapeseed plant goes through and the way the oil is made actually burns off the Omega 3 and becomes transfat.  This is one of those things you might want to research and decide for yourself.  It is your health.

Other foods containing Omega 3: beans, olive oil, hemp seeds, kale, collard greens, spinach, soybeans, cloves, oregano, green beans — yay, not just fish!  I am not a fan of fish although, the Omega 3 in fish is hard to beat, so I probably should start eating it.

Like so many nutrients being discovered as being necessary almost everyday it seems as if the best way to get what the body needs is to eat a variety of foods.  The less we eat of over-processes and packaged foods the better.  Finding a balance is also important.  It just really sounds as if, from all the information I have read, Americans consume less Omega 3 than we should, so — to me — it sounds good to add more to my diet.  What about you?  Are there ways you can add more healthy foods that contain Omega 3 into your diet?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »