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Food Facts

Strawberries can add a just-right sweetness to a vanilla protein shake, and they’re packed with protective antioxidants. Also, ounce for ounce, strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes your body to use muscle for energy, and it can cause erratic sleep. If you have bouts of insomnia, phosphatidylserine, a soy-lipid supplement, may help, according to the March/April ’11 Well-Being Journal. It’s been shown to reduce cortisol by more than 30 percent.

Vitamin C, fish oil, seleium, coenzyme Q10, folic acid and vitamin A were the key supplements in a regimen that helped 76 percent of late-stage cancer patients live an average of five months longer than expected, according to the February ’11 Bottom Line Health.

Dark chocolate has been shown to benefit cardiovascular health, and now a study out of Britain has found that high-flavonol cocoa encourages growth of the good bacteria in your gut much as yogurt does. That bacteria can enhance immunity and keep you regular.

Maca is a legendary plant from Peru said to increase energy and sexual function in men and women. According to the December ’10 Better Health, it’s dubbed “Peruvian ginseng,” and it’s been used for centuries in that part of the world to increase fertility. Could it be a testosterone booster? More research is needed, but there is a view that it increases sperm count and sperm motility in healthy adult men.

—Becky Holman



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