Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy are Dr. Adam Shafran and Lee Kantor, two guys in Atlanta who talk fitness online and over the air. We asked them to answer a few reader questions and invite you to send in your questions to tips @ crunchgear dot com with the subject line “FITNESS.” Include your geographical location. We’ll run these Q&A sessions regularly.
Is there really such a thing as a SuperFood? If so, what are some of them? – Nancy, Scranton
Superfood is a term sometimes used to describe food with high phytonutrient content. and/or high antioxidant values expressed in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units, a unit of measurement for antioxidants developed by the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Blueberries, broccoli, and apples are often considered a superfoods because they contain significant amounts of antioxidants, anthocyanins, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber and a high ORAC score. Spices such as cinnamon and tumeric also can also be classified as superfoods since their ORAC scores are over 200,000. Scientists, nutritionists and dieticians do not classify foods in “High ORAC” scores although they commonly agree on the health benefits of a diet based on fruits and vegetables. There is no legal definition of the term and it has been alleged that this has led to it being over-used as a marketing tool.
I’m seeing kettlebell workouts everywhere. How are kettlebells different than dumbbells? – Jer, Boston
The kettlebell is a cast iron weight looking somewhat like a cannonball with a handle, used to perform ballistic exercises which combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. The basic movements such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk engage the entire body at once. In a way those movements mimic real world compound movement activities such as shoveling or farm work. The most important concept to understand is that resistance is resistance whether it is coming from a Nautilus Machine, sandbags, kettlebells or big jugs of water!
Coffee vs Tea. What should I be drinking more of? – Abel, Connecticut
Even though coffee has received a bad rap for years and years, we have now seen studies linking it to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, gallstones and type 2 diabetes. In addition, green tea and white tea have been touted for their health benefits. Coffee consumption should never exceed more than 3 – 4 8-ounce cups/day. Because coffee contains caffeine, it has been shown to raise blood pressure and you should limit your intake if you have any blood pressure abnormalities and/or cardiac arrhythmias.
There is a strong body of evidence that suggests the antioxidants in tea — whether it’s black, green or white — have more health benefits. Antioxidants can prevent chronic inflammation of the blood vessels, and it has been linked to reduced risk for cancer and stroke. In terms of antioxidant content, white tea has the most, followed by green tea, black tea and lastly, coffee.