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Exercise in Cold Weather:

Exercise in cold ambient air produces significant physiologic and psychological Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition Exercise in Cold Weather 1 caasnchallenges. The physiologic strain of exercise in cold weather depends on three factors: a) hydration level, b) body metabolism, and c) body fat. One of the functions of the upper airways is to warm and moisturize the inhaled air before reaching the bronchi.

Cold air does not usually damage the airways. Even in an extreme cold weather, the inhaled air usually warms to 27 - 32°C by the time it reaches the bronchi. When exercising in cold weather, you breathe large volume of cold, dry air. The respiratory passages have to warm and moisturize the air you inhale, which results in considerable loss of water and heat. Water loss from airways usually contributes to overall dehydration, dry mouth, burning sensation in the throat and irritation of the airways.

Cold-induced dry throat usually triggers cough during the recovery period. In people with asthma, the signs and symptoms may exacerbate (cold weather-induced asthma attack). Studies have confirmed that post-exercise coughing in cold weather relates directly to the overall respiratory water loss, not heat loss.

Another interesting fact is that the body shows remarkable flexibility in selecting fuel when exposed to cold. A response to cold is shivering, which serves an important role in maintaining core body temperature.

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Okra May Cause Infertility:

Okra is a green vegetable from mallow family and it is sometimes called “lady`s finger”. infertility 6 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasnThough it has many health benefits and contains some vitamins and phytonutrients, it may have downside as well. For the health benefits and nutritional value of okra, click here.

A unique substance in okra is “gossypol”. It is a polyphenolic compound that is mostly found in okra seeds. Gossypol is also found in other species of the mallow family, such as cotton and cacao, with cottonseeds containing the highest concentrations.

Gossypol inhibits sperm production and motility by blocking several enzymes that are highly important in energy metabolism in sperm and sperm - producing cells. It does not affect sex hormone levels or libido. Gossypol has been used as a male contraceptive in China for many years.

Few clinical researches were conducted regarding the effectiveness of gossypol in 1986 in China and in the mid 1990s in Brazil. The studies showed that gossypol lowered the number and motility of sperms and made small percentage of men infertile permanently. After publishing the clinical findings of these studies, world health organization (WHO) recommended to put an end to these researches.

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Saffron: It Controls Craving and Fights Depression

Saffron is the world`s most expensive spice derived from the flower saffron 1 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasnCrocus sativus known as saffron flower. The reason for being the world's most costly spice by weight is the stigma, the portion of the flower used for cooking and must be hand-picked off the flowers. To obtain one gram of saffron, at least 150 flowers are needed.

Iran is the world`s largest producer of saffron, producing approximately 90% of the world`s total production of saffron.

Ingredients of Saffron:

Saffron contains over 150 volatile aromatic and non-volatile active ingredients. It is rich in carotenoids such as alpha - carotene, alpha - crocin, beta - carotene, lycopene, and zeaxanthin. The golden yellow color of saffron is mainly due to alpha - crocin.

Another ingredient in saffron is picrocrocin, which involves in flavoring the spice. The main contributing ingredients to the aroma of saffron are safranal (a volatile oil) and trimethyl cyclohexadien.

Saffron is also a powerhouse of many vitamins and minerals.

Health Benefits of Saffron:

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Hip Pain: Tight Tensor Fasciae Latae

Tensor fasciae latae (TFL) is a small muscle that originates from the anterior iliacTensor fascia latae 1 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasn crest, merges with iliotibial band, and attaches to the lateral condyle of the tibia.

The primary functions of the TFL are flexion and abduction of the hip. It also helps with lateral rotation of the tibia.

When the TFL is tight and locked up, it may cause pain in the hip joint, groin, buttock, lower back (over sacroiliac joint) and even the lateral aspect of the thigh. The most common reason of tight TFL is sitting for long hours at a desk or commuting in cars, which causes shortening and tightness of the hip flexors.

Tightness of TFL is also common among athletes involved in horse riding, running, and cycling.

Other causes of tight TFL are:

1) Over-striding. It is running with a stride that is longer than optimal for your body length.

2) Running on crowned roads.

3) Bow legs for any reasons.

4) Shoe factor: worn out running shoes or shoes without beefed up heels.

How to Relieve Tightness:

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