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total wellness

a ucla student welfare commission publication

personalized nutrition

discover your

combining the best of the east and west

inner athlete



what is it and how does it relate to you?

kombucha miracle drink or not?

spring 12 | vol 12 | issue 3

director’s letter

editor’s note

In the pursuit towards better health in our world of growing obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses associated with an increasingly sedentary population, it’s no wonder why it’s more important than ever to get active. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a family that has fostered my love for exercise from my childhood – with weekly family outings at the local park, biking trips to the beach, and hikes to enjoy the wonders of nature. Because the importance of physical activity has become deeply ingrained within my life, I continue to incorporate exercise into my daily schedule to gain its full benefits - physically, mentally, and even socially. For me, making exercise not only a physical workout but also a social venture makes it even more exciting and rewarding. Some of my favorites have been hiking with my friends to places such as the Hollywood Sign and catching up with my brother over winter break through snowboarding. It never occurred to me how dangerous ordinary exercise can be when it’s performed inappropriately or in the wrong occasions until I was restricted from strenuous workouts for three days after having my wisdom teeth extracted. I couldn’t go running or do my usually handstands or flips due to the surgeon’s concerns about causing complications with the healing process. As young adults, often times we think we are invincible and constantly challenge the body to do more and more - embracing a “no-pain-no-gain” mentality. However, without respecting the body, working out can do us more harm than help since many individuals suffer from exercise-related injuries. In this issue, we help you realize the common sports injuries and how to avoid them (page 22) and precautions you should take when exercising (page 11).

total wellness ▪ spring 2012

Whether you’re an NCAA athlete, a regular at the gym, or a couch potato, discovering an exercise plan that is in tune with your body’s needs and fits your own unique style is essential for making the incorporation of physical activity into your daily routine enjoyable and beneficial to your overall health. The key to make exercise a rewarding experience stems from first recognizing what you enjoy and what your body can handle. Choose physical activities that you take pleasure in. With so many kinds of exercise, ranging from Tai Chi to running, and a wide variety of sports, from basketball to gymnastics, find something that meets your interests. In contrast to what many people may think, exercise does not have to be a drag, painful, or even draining. When you engage in exercises you enjoy and gradually build up your strength and endurance before you kick your routine up a notch, exercise will most likely be invigorating and make you feel good both physically and mentally. We invite you to discover your inner athlete while considering safety and the importance for exercise to be personalized in nature. With this guide to getting active, we hope to inspire you to embrace the importance of exercise and reap the full benefits of physical activity.

Shannon Wongvibulsin Director


In January, I started working at the front desk of a local fitness club. I greet members, check them into the club, take care of billing, answer phones, etc. Even though I have only worked at the gym for a little over three months, I have gotten to know many of the members, and definitely have my favorites. These favorite members have all taught me different lessons – about fitness, and about life. One member that I see every time I work is a 65-year-old woman who had major knee surgery a few months ago and has been walking with crutches ever since. Still, she comes in every day, rain or shine, and exercises. No matter how much time and effort it takes her to even get to the club, she makes this routine a priority. I find this particularly inspirational because she constantly refuses to be sidelined by her injury and physical limitations. Lesson #1: never give up. My next favorite category of members includes gym-goers who always come in pairs. There is a duo of 17-year-old twin boys who always come in together and play basketball. There are two young women who come in dressed up in heels and chat together as they work out on the elliptical machines. There’s a group of retired men who come in several times a week to play squash together and then catch up over coffee. These members have taught me how much friendships can benefit health. These friends motivate and coach each other, using their time at the club to solidify long-lasting bonds and form new ones. Lesson #2: make exercise a social activity. The last member who stands out is a gentleman who is close to 90 years old and hobbles in with the biggest smile on his face every time I see him. He’ll reach into his pocket and pull out some kind of candy (usually Hershey’s kisses) for all the front desk employees. He has been a member for over 20 years, and knows just about everyone in the building. No matter what is going on or how hectic the day is, he always has the best attitude. Lesson #3: the power of positive thinking. I’ve been thinking about these lessons not only in my day-to-day interactions at work, but also when reviewing this issue of Total Wellness. In this publication, you’ll find an array of articles that explore the topic of finding your inner athlete. Whether that means preventing common sports injuries (pg 22) or incorporating strength training into your workouts (pg 8), keeping these lessons in mind can empower you to reach your fitness goals. None of my favorite members are professional athletes, and yet they all display the dedication and drive that real sports stars are known for. Lesson #4: if they can do it, so can you.

Leigh Goodrich Editor-in-Chief

words from the commissioner For the past three years, I enjoyed watching the development of Total Wellness into the high quality publication it is today.

tw total wellness love what we do? join us! now accepting applications

We all know that without the dedication of our directors and the support from our community it would not have been possible. However, there is a bit of history to the magazine that is often lost. Total Wellness magazine is part of a UCLA legacy known as the Student Welfare Commission (SWC). SWC dates back to 1919 under the Secretary of Public Welfare as a part of the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC). After a few name changes and disappearances, we have been recognized as the Student Welfare Commission since 1967. Today, SWC serves UCLA with eleven different health-based focuses; one of them being Total Wellness. Together, we have been lucky to be able to serve our UCLA community with plenty of health-based programming. Total Wellness has come and gone as a part of SWC, and after being brought back in the past few years our dedicated members have been able to develop an amazing resource. The magazine designers and writers work tirelessly to provide useful health information to as many people as possible. If this is your first time reading our magazine, I would like to encourage you to pass it on to your friends to read and enjoy. Likewise, if you are a seasoned reader, please continue to share your enjoyment with others. This letter is the first of hopefully many more to come from the Student Welfare Commissioner. Previously included in the magazine, this letter is a chance for me to talk about our commission. My role is to represent undergraduate students to the best of my ability and bring our commission together to accomplish a greater goal of spreading health awareness. Whether you decide to attend one of our CPR and first Aid classes or read Total Wellness, the Student Welfare Commission is here to support you. I have been humbled by the experience to serve the undergraduate students of UCLA, and I hope all of you have had the chance to experience and learn from the product of our nearly 300 SWC members.

if you are interested in... writing or designing

health advocacy

building your resume networking with healthcare professionals

join total wellness magazine apply online at applications due May 11th

If you have any questions about SWC, please email me at Have a fulfilling, safe, and healthy spring! Smile plenty,


total wellness â–Ş spring 2012

Tamir Sholklapper SWC Commissioner

Total Wellness is a division of the Student Welfare Commission that is dedicated to spreading awareness of and sharing knowledge on issues of student health and health care. By providing an understanding of health and lifestyle issues, elucidating health concepts, providing recommendations for physical, mental, and social well-being, and making visible and accessible various health resources, programs, and events occurring at UCLA, Total Wellness seeks to empower students with up-to-date and accurate knowledge on the appropriate management of their health.


total wellness Director Editor-in-Chief Co-Art Director Co-Art Director Outreach Director Managing Editor Webmaster Assistant Webmaster

Shannon Wongvibulsin Leigh Goodrich Amorette Jeng Karin Yuen Cindy La Julia Bree Horie Fritz Batiller Kevin Sung

Staff Writers Julia Duong, Judy Jeung, Teni Karimian, Nicole Lew, Nataly Martinez, Brian Khoa Nguyen, Jaclyn Portanova, Nabeel Qureshi, Kevin Sung, Leanna Tu, Jennifer J. Wilson Design Chloe Booher, Karen Chu, Amorette Jeng, Coco Liu, Jennifer Shieh, Annie Theriault (intern), Rebecca Wang, Barbara Wong, Shannon Wongvibulsin, Karin Yuen



Art Director

Art Director

Advisory & Review William Aronson, MD

Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD

Assistant Director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

Leah FitzGerald, RN, FNP, PhD

Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Nursing

Dena Herman, PhD, MPH, RD

Adjunct Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Public Health

Eve Lahijani, MS, RD

Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center

Melissa Magaro, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services

Lilia Meltzer, RN, NP, MSN

Lecturer, California State University, Long Beach

William McCarthy, PhD

Adjunct Professor, UCLA School of Public Health

Rena Orenstein, MPH

Assistant Director, Student Health Education

Allan Pantuck, MD, MS, FACS

Associate Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

Raffi Tachdjian, MD, MPH

Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine



Managing Editor

Outreach Director

Elisa Terry, NSCA-CSCS

FITWELL Services Program Director, UCLA Recreation

Alona Zerlin, MS, RD

Research Dietitian, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

total wellness ▪ spring 2012

Total Wellness is a free, student-run, publication published multiple times a year and is supported by advertisers, the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, the On Campus Housing Council (OCHC), the Student Welfare Commission (SWC), UCLA Recreation, and the Undergraduate Students Association (USAC). Contact 308 Westwood Blvd., Kerckhoff Hall 308 Los Angeles, CA 90024 Phone 310.825.7586, Fax 310.267.4732 Subscription, back issues, and advertising rates available on request Volume 12, Issue 3





Assistant Webmaster

© 2012 by Total Wellness Magazine. All rights reserved. Parts of this magazine may be reproduced only with written permission from the editor. Although every precaution has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the published material, Total Wellness cannot be held responsible for the opinions expressed or facts supplied by authors. We do not necessarily endorse products and services advertised. The information in Total Wellness is not intended as medical advice and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult a health care provider for clarification.

contents IN EVERY ISSUE 2 3 6 7 38 39

Director's Letter, Editor’s Note Words from the Commissioner In the News Q&A Food Pick Credits


Get Active 8 Bench-press for Beginners: Your Guide to Strength Training

11 Your Get Active Guide: Preparing for Any Exercise Obstacle

Mind Matters 14 Listening to Your Body: The Ins and Outs of Biofeedback

Eat Right 17 Protein Sources: Options to Boost Your Health


22 Sidelined: Common Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them 26 Kombucha: A True Miracle Drink? 30 Personalizing Nutrition: Combining Western and Eastern Perspectives 33 Oil Origins 36 Better Butter?


30 Personalized Nutrition 26 Kombucha 14 Biofeedback


total wellness ▪ spring 2012

cover: joshua hodge photography/istockphoto; left: mediaphotos/istockphoto; right: joshua hodge photography/istockphoto

spring 2012

in the news

what’s happening in health? by shannon wongvibulsin | design by amorette jeng


Although previous studies have shown that diet soft drinks may cause type II diabetes and conditions associated with the metabolic syndrome, including problems such as high blood pressure and abdominal obesity, the findings of a 10-year epidemiological study recently published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine suggest that daily consumption of diet soda independently increases the risk for stroke, heart attack, and death. In other words, the researchers controlled for numerous risk factors, such as diabetes, and still found a link between drinking diet soda and the development of cardiovascular disease.


A recent study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association reported that the consumption of citrus fruits may decrease women’s risk of clot-associated or ischemic stroke. After analyzing the data collected from 69,622 females from the Nurse’s Health Study, an investigation of women’s health that began in 1976, researchers found that women who consumed the most citrus fruits had a 19% lower risk of stroke compared to women who consumed the least. The scientists propose that citrus fruits may confer this protection through their flavonoids, which are believed to reduce inflammation and also enhance blood vessel function.


135 percent DV of vitamin C is in one cup of broccoli


Because plastic is typically made from the Earth’s finite supply of crude oil, plastic use is a major concern for the environmentally conscious. Recently, researchers in the Netherlands have published their finding in the journal Science that a class of iron catalysts can turn plant material into lower olefins, which are the components necessary for plastic synthesis. In addition to making plastic products, the researchers also report that this catalyst can be applied to the production of drugs and cosmetics from plant derivatives.


Researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA studied the effects of deep brain stimulation and discovered that stimulating the entorhinal cortex during learning aided in memory formation. For this study, the researchers examined the performance of seven epileptic patients, who had electrodes implanted in their brains, for their ability to recognize landmarks and navigate a virtual city as taxi drivers. While stimulating the entorhinal cortex (a structure in the brain that aids in the formation and storing of memories) resulted in improved performance, stimulating the hippocampus (the location of memory storage) itself did not result in improved memory. Thus, some scientists propose that stimulating the brain at the entorhinal cortex as memories are synthesized can potentially serve as an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. t w

60 percent of consumers worldwide find it difficult to understand the nutritional information presented on food labels selfnutritiondata; container recycling institute; nielson global survey of food labeling trends


4x6/istockphoto; right: christian carroll/istockphoto

In an effort to address the fact that an alarming 1,200 Americans die every day due to tobacco use, the federal government has launched the first-ever nationwide anti-smoking campaign consisting of advertisements through television, radio, billboards, and other sources of media to graphically emphasizing the negative consequences of smoking. Through this operation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects to motivate current smokers to quit and to prevent individuals from picking up the detrimental and addictive habit. The CDC’s director estimates that this will translate into thousands of lives saved and decreased health costs.

percent of plastic bottles never get recycled


total wellness ▪ spring 2012




Q: A:

What can 15 minutes of daily exercise do for you? by shannon wongvibulsin | design by karin yuen

Get Active to Increase Your Lifespan and Reap the Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Exercise

For years we have been told of the physical benefits of exercise. More recently, scientists have also uncovered that physical activity also promotes mental health. Still not motivated to exercise? Recent research concerning exercise and lifespan published in The Lancet found that individuals who exercised just 15 minutes a day increased their life expectancy by three years compared with participants who were inactive. Certainly, the benefits of exercise are enormous. So, no matter how hectic your schedule becomes, it is important to incorporate an adequate amount of physical activity into your daily routine.

Need motivation to exercise? Learn about the benefits associated with exercise. ❯ Live a Longer, Healthier Life: Regular exercise reduces the risk for developing many detrimental health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, obesity, back pain, and osteoporosis. Additionally, a 2011 study published in The Lancet reported the following statistics: - 15 minutes of daily exercise increased life expectancy by three years compared with individuals who were inactive - every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise, for up to 100 minutes per day, decreased death risk by an additional four percent ❯ Physical and Mental Health Benefits: A 2005 review article published in Current Opinion in Psychiatry found that regular exercise promotes an overall better quality of life. Generally, people who exercise have more energy and a better mood and self-esteem than those who are inactive. Additionally, current research indicates that exercise has a positive impact on cognitive functioning.

Recommended Amount of Exercise The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend a minimum of 150 minutes per week (equivalent to approximately 21 minutes a day) of moderate exercise, which should include both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise.

your question over to and the answer may appear in a future issue.

Current research suggests individuals can gain enormous benefits from physical activity with just 15 minutes of exercise per day, which is less than the minimum recommendation of CDC and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americas. Having trouble finding time to incorporate exercise into your daily routine? Consider the following tips to help you get started on a more active lifestyle. ❯ Workout in your room. No special equipment is necessary for push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, jogging in place, squats, lunges, and more. Be creative and fit in a quick and refreshing 15 minuteworkout without even having to leave your room. ❯ Walk or bike instead of driving. If your commute is manageable on foot or bike, consider driving to be a luxury rather than a necessity. If you do drive, instead of looking for the closest parking spot, choose one further away. ❯ Go for a walk during your lunch break. ❯ Use the stairs instead of the elevator. ❯ Walk around while chatting on the phone instead of sitting down. ❯ Rather than sitting around to catch up with friends, suggest doing something physically active to hang out such as going to the pool, going on a walk, bike, or jog, and playing Frisbee or other sports.

Getting 15 minutes of daily exercise can initially appear to be a challenge, but there are numerous simple ways to include physical activity in your daily schedule. Once you reach 15 minutes of exercise per day, try aiming for more to fully enjoy the extensive health benefits of exercise. tw


total wellness ▪ spring 2012

got a question? We love curious readers. Send

Easy Ways to Get 15 Minutes of Daily Exercise

get active

Bench-press for Beginners: Your Guide to Strength-Training by leigh goodrich | design by jennifer shieh

be packed with seasoned pros benching hundreds of pounds, but that doesn’t mean the average gymgoer should avoid the strength training scene. In fact, incorporating weight lifting into a fitness routine of cardiovascular exercise offers a whole host of health benefits. Not only can weightlifting improve strength and overall fitness, but it also helps protect bone health and muscle mass. Strength training has also been shown to improve balance, boost energy and mood levels, and help prevent chronic disease.

total wellness ▪ spring 2012

Although it certainly isn’t necessary to be an expert lifter to reap the benefits of strength training, it is important to learn about proper technique and practice to avoid injury. Incorrect form in weightlifting can quickly lead to sprains, pulled muscles, and other maladies that end a workout with more harm than good. Read on for your guide to strength training and how to best integrate it into a training regimen. Keep in mind that these recommendations are meant for those just starting to lift weights. Beginners should seek the help of a fitness professional, take a class and learn proper technique to maximize benefits and minimize injuries.


Warm up: Make sure to adequately prepare the muscles for a strength workout before lifting any weights. Warm muscles are less likely to tear and lead to injury than muscles that haven’t been stretched. By mixing weight lifting into a workout, you can engage in cardiovascular activity to warm up muscles, lift weights, and then go back to endurance training. Not only does this kind of circuit training keep a workout from getting boring, but it also helps prevent injury.

Lift the right amount of weight: When choosing a weight, aim for something you can lift for 12-15 repetitions. By 15 repetitions, your muscle should be at the point of fatigue. If 15 repetitions don’t tire the muscle, increase the weight. By the same token, if only five or so repetitions feel unbearable, select a lighter weight. Feel free to gradually increase the amount of weight as you get stronger.

Don’t overdo it: Along with selecting the appropriate amount of weight, it is important to take it slow to avoid injury. Don’t expect to be able to lift massive amounts after only a few workouts; let your body adjust to the exercises and adapt safely.

Take your time: To get the most out of weight lifting workouts, raise and lower weights slowly and steadily. Avoid moving weights around in a jerky manner, as this can easily lead to injury. Also, lifting or lowering weights too quickly leads to a less effective exercise since the movement is attributed more to momentum and gravity than to the actual muscle working.

fittness icons: appleuzr/istockphoto; workout and weightlifting icons: bubaone/istockphoto

Weight rooms tend to

Use proper form: Be sure to learn the proper form for specific exercises. On most weight machines, you can find diagrams and instructions for reference. You can also find advice and step-by-step instructions online and in plenty of exercise-related smartphone apps (handy for easy access at the gym). If you find it difficult to maintain proper form throughout a set of repetitions, decrease the weight or do fewer repetitions – it is better to do fewer reps correctly, than more reps incorrectly.

Breathe: Avoid holding your breath while lifting weights, as this can increase blood pressure and hinder your workout. Focus on your breathing patterns during exercise and remember to breathe out as you lift a weight (contracting muscle) and breathe in as you lower it (relaxing muscle).


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Remember to rest: To give your muscles ample time to recover and benefit from a workout, avoid working the same muscle two days in a row. Instead, mix up your exercise routine by alternating between strength training and cardio workouts, or by working different muscle groups on different days. Be creative in breaking up your workouts, or simply take a day off to relax after a challenge.




total wellness â–Ş spring 2012

Aim to work out all major muscle groups for a balanced fitness routine. The main muscle areas to target include abdominals, legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms. Also consider the balance between flexor and extensor muscles, such as the biceps and triceps. There are many exercises that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, and also complementary exercises that help to balance strength training circuits. t w


A Department of Student Affairs

Wednesday Wellness Workshops UCLA students can just drop in!

All Wednesday Wellness Workshops are 45-minutes in length and free. No prior registration required. AAP Campbell Hall Room 1224 2:00-3:00pm

Ashe Center 4th Floor Large Conference Room 1:00-2:00pm *or otherwise noted

CPO Student Activities Center B-Level Conference Rooms 6:00-7:00pm *or otherwise noted


No More Drama: Dealing with Dating Relationship Problems

Sustainable Healthy Eating: Back to Basics – 3:00pm-4:00pm

No More Drama: Dealing with Dating Relationship Problems 5:00pm-6:00pm


Staying Motivated

Mood Matters

Building Social Confidence


4/25 5/2

Stop Body Bashing: Boost Your Body Image – 3:00pm-4:00pm

Procrastination & Perfectionism QPR Training 4:00pm-6:00pm

Stress Less OMG, I’m Graduating

GSRC Student Activities Center B-Level Conference Room 4 5:00-6:00pm Graduate Students Only

Procrastination & Perfectionism

Essentials of Time Management


Art of Sleeping: ABC’s of Zzzz’s

Art of Sleeping: ABC’s of Zzzz’s


Mood Matters

Resilience Through Mindful Awareness

Art of Sleeping: ABC’s of Zzz’s ▪Understand some of the myths about sleep ▪Identify factors that contribute to your poor sleep ▪Apply strategies to sleep faster and more soundly

Building Social Confidence ▪Identify common obstacles to building social confidence ▪Identify why reasonable risk-taking is necessary for building social confidence ▪Apply strategies to increase risk-taking behaviors and improve social skills

Essentials of Time Management ▪Evaluate your current allocation of time ▪Apply specific time management skills ▪Derive a realistic plan to utilize time more effectively

Mood Matters ▪Understand the impact of mood on well-being ▪Identify factors that influence and amplify mood ▪Learn strategies to improve mood and well-being

No More Drama: Dealing with Dating Relationship Problems ▪Define aspects of a “healthy” relationship ▪Provide strategies to improve communication ▪Identify signs of abuse ▪Identify resources to assist a friend in an abusive relationship

OMG, I’m Graduating ▪Explore stressors related to transition out of UCLA ▪Identify tips for positive coping with stress related to transition ▪ Provide communication tips to improve support related to transition

Overcoming Writer’s Block ▪Identify writing blocks and reduce writing anxiety ▪Strategize how to deal with difficult writing emotions ▪Identify ways to increase creative brainstorming ability

Procrastination and Perfectionism ▪Identify the reasons why we procrastinate ▪Understand the connection between perfectionism and procrastination ▪Identify specific strategies to reduce procrastination and increase productivity

Resilience through Mindful Awareness ▪Understand mindful awareness and resilience ▪Identify mindful awareness-based resilience skills ▪Apply these skills to face challenging situations

Staying Motivated ▪Identify the main theories of motivation ▪Discover specific strategies for reigniting positive motivation ▪Understand the nature of motivation, including how it varies in strength and direction

Stop Body Bashing: Boost Your Body Image ▪Identify how the environment impacts body image ▪Identify the power of negative and positive self-talk ▪Imagine the benefits of improving your body image

Stress Less ▪Understand what stress is, its benefits, and its costs ▪Identify common self-defeating ways of coping with stress ▪Identify specific healthy ways of coping with stress

Sustainable Healthy Eating: Back to Basics ▪Examine beliefs about healthy diets ▪Increase appetite awareness ▪Identify how to respond to internal vs. external eating cues

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get active

Your Get Active Guide Preparing for Any Exercise Obstacle

by julia duong | design by coco liu

of snuggling in a warm blanket with a hot chocolate in hand, drifting between napping on the couch, and changing the channels on the TV. Even the most motivated exercising gogetters are tempted by this couch potato habit. However, knowing how to stay on-the-go despite the weather or season is incredibly important for a healthy lifestyle. According to a 2008 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers determined that people who exercised at least

five times a week had up to 46 percent fewer sick days (4.41 sick days) than those who only exercised one day a week or less (8.18 sick days). Moreover, these symptoms were milder for the active go-getters. It takes a little bit more effort, but your health is worth the extra time. Moreover, failing to workout during the cold and rainy season can cause weight gain and loss of muscle strength, tone, and endurance. Here is your handy guide to having fun and staying active this season!


total wellness â–Ş spring 2012


The transition from winter to spring is often rainy and cold, which conjures up thoughts

Debunking the


As possibly unappealing as exercising during the cold and rainy season sounds, perhaps start by writing down reasons why it is beneficial to exercise. Having goals in mind makes it easier to be decisive and focused. Physiologically, moving around in the cold is important because it helps prevent chest infections, prevents blood vessels from constricting and blood from thickening (which in return, reduces the risk of a heart attack). Still having reservations? Here we debunk some myths readers might have, based on the American Heart Association (AHA):

Myth 1: There’s not enough daylight. Myth buster: If daylight is a problem, remember you can always make laps around a nearby mall or grocery store, as they typically open early and close late. To get the most benefit during the day, exercise in the morning if possible, as physical activity has been shown to enhance energy levels and promote a positive state of mind. A 2006 study done by the Canadian Medical Association demonstrated “irrefutable evidence” of the benefits of exercise, citing the concrete prevention of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer as well as premature death. Try to avoid intense physical activity within three hours of bedtime, as it can make restful sleep difficult.

Motivating yourself Myth 2: I don’t have time. Myth buster: The AHA recommends exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, which can reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. The same benefits also apply in three 10 minute intervals. A 2001 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reported that “three 10-minute bouts of exercise, and two 15-minute bouts, and one 30-minute bout” were all equally effective in reducing body fat.

Myth 3: All video games are bad for your physical activity levels. Myth buster: Active-play video games can be part of a realistic approach to fitness. According to a 2010 American Heart Association and Nintendo Video Game Company survey, 68 percent of people who play active-play video games have begun a new real-life fitness activity like walking, tennis or jogging since they started playing the games. Dr. Barry Franklin of Beaumont Hospital in Michigan states, “It’s not meant to replace physical activity; it’s meant to get people off the couch and moving in the right direction. We believe, although we don’t yet have conclusive data, that this may lead more people to become physically active in their day-to-day lives.”

Oh baby it’s cold outside: If there are people on the freezing east coast who still manage to make physical activity a priority in the cold season, there's no excuse for the Californian residing in the sunny-in-the-winter state! To make exercising more comfortable, here are some tips to keep you warm and, more importantly, safe when you venture outside for exercising:

1. Getting out of bed.

Put workout clothes in the dryer for a few minutes when you wake up. The heat from the clothes will make it easier to get out of bed.


2. Warm up properly.

Cold temperatures tighten muscles, causing them to be more prone to injuries. So before stretching, warm up with some light walking or slow jogging for about five to 10 minutes. Focus on the major muscle groups such as calves, thighs, shoulders, and neck, emphasizing regions that will be extensively used during the work-out. Make sure not to bounce as you stretch, which can cause the muscles to tear and leave scar tissue, making flexibility less attainable and more prone to pain. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, repeating three or four times. Finally, expect tension while stretching, not pain! Regular stretching can help increase one’s motion, decrease the possibility of injury, and improve performance.

carrie wendel/istockphoto

total wellness ▪ spring 2012

Staying warm, cozy, and safe

3. Insulation.

Dressing too warmly can cause overheating and sweat, which as soon as it starts to dry, chills you. The key to dressing warmly yet allowing body temperature to be regulated is layering. Start with a base, “breathable” layer like polypropylene that allows sweat to evaporate. Next, add a thicker, warmer, and drier layer of fleece or wool. Finally, you’ll want a jacket that is water and weather resistant, but still breathable. If you exercise at night, especially since the day periods are now shorter, remember to wear reflective material. If the weather causes wet socks and cold feet, consider a goretex lined or waterproof shoes, or a waterproof seam sealer to make your current running sneakers more water resistant. Light trail shoes are also an option, which provide better traction and a wider toe box to allow breathing room and feet support.

4. Hydration.

Stay hydrated! You can become just as dehydrated in cold and rainy weather as in the summertime due to sweating, breathing, and increased urine production, but it is more difficult to realize due to the cold weather. Drink plenty of water.

5. During exercise.

If during running you start to lose feelings in your toe, try to make a fist with the toes or do some calf raises to get the blood pumping. Most of the time, numb toes are due to a footwear or circulatory issue. After exercising, elevate your feet to relieve the pressure. However, if the tingling sensation persists, frostbite may have occurred, and a physician should be contacted. In addition, it may hurt to breathe while running in the cold due to the temperature drop on the pulmonary system. Often times, the cold, dry air causes irritation and inflammation. Home remedies include sipping on tea with lemon after a run to moisten the trachea and five minute steam showers, which allow you to inhale deeper.

6. Post-exercise.

Don’t remove the layers immediately when returning indoors, and give your body time to adjust. Post exercise hypothermia (when the body rapidly loses its heating stores) is possible.

7. Sunscreen.

Sunscreen is vital even without any visible sunshine. Wear UVA and UVB ray blocking sunscreen of at least SPF 30. UVA, known as the tanning ray, can over time damage skin cells called keratinocytes, which is the origin of skin cancers. Tanning results from the skin’s DNA being damaged; as a result, the skin darkens in an ill attempt to prevent further DNA damage. UVB, on the other hand, penetrates the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers, causing skin reddening and sunburn. Use lip balm that contains sunscreen. Protect your eyes with goggles and glasses if you’re going into the snow! Due to its white color, snow can reflect up to 85% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, demonstrating that sunburns in the snow are often times much worse than in the summer.

8. Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

Frostbite: Most common on exposed skin such as cheeks, nose, ears, hands and feet. Symptoms include a loss of feeling, numbing, and a stinging sensation. Go indoors immediately and slowly warm the affected area (do not rub). Seek emergency care if necessary. Hypothermia: Symptoms include shivering, slurred speech and fatigue. Seek emergency care immediately.

9. Try exercising indoors.

Use instructional videos, try interactive video games like Wii Fit and the Kinect, do yoga, anything to get you moving! Utilize the Wooden Center, which will provide you with a greater plethora of equipment and supervision. Take some of the recreational classes there with a friend!


total wellness ▪ spring 2012

While a variety of factors such as cold weather and shortage of daylight contributes to the urge to stay in a warm bed all day, the key is staying motivated. Use this guide to make it easy and comfortable to keep up with regular physical activity. tw

mind matters

Listening to Your Body: The Ins and Outs of


When the body is sick, many physiological changes occur that let you know that something is wrong. If it is a tension headache, your blood pressure and heart rate spike. But why does this matter? Instead of flooding your system with ibuprofen, a new technique called biofeedback can help you learn how your body reacts to illness, combats it, and heals itself without the use of harsh chemicals and drugs. Read on to learn what biofeedback is, how it works, and where you can get it done.


original illustrations by chloe booher

total wellness â–Ş spring 2012

by nabeel qureshi | illustration and design by chloe booher

What is biofeedback?

Is it effective?

Biofeedback is a therapy that measures your bodily functions, which typically includes blood pressure, brain waves, breathing and heart rate, in order to treat a variety of disorders. When the body is sick, these basic functions change in response to the stress from the ailments. Many times, it is the change in these bodily functions that causes the exacerbation of negative symptoms. For example, headaches present with an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Biofeedback acts as a treatment by helping a patient recognize what changes in the body occur in response to a sickness. With the help of a biofeedback expert, the patient is taught to control these basic body functions in order to treat the sickness instead of using harsh chemicals.

So, how effective are biofeedback treatments? Unsurprisingly, it comes down to what the treatment is for. Instantaneous problems such as tension headaches and migraine headaches, which are normally associated with stress, have shown very promising results with biofeedback. More recent results demonstrate that individuals with chronic conditions such as ADHD can gain positive results from biofeedback treatment. According to research published in 2009 in Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, randomized studies have shown that hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity all showed a marked decrease when ADHD was treated with biofeedback. However, what is important and must be considered is the implementation of the treatment. Biofeedback is a specialized treatment that requires someone trained in biofeedback to truly be effective.

How does it work? The technique works by getting a better understanding of the basic bodily functions and how they change in order to better control them. A biofeedback practitioner uses electrodes to monitor these bodily functions and displays it for the patient to see. Once attached to electrodes, a display that most commonly shows heart rate, blood pressure, brain waves, and breathing. Depending on what the condition to be treated is, other bodily functions can be measured, including skin temperature, muscle tension, and skin conductivity.

New studies have also shown a place for biofeedback as a way of supplementing injury rehabilitation. In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, treatment for hyperextension of the knee showed great improvements in recovery when coupled with biofeedback therapy. As a supplement to other physical therapy practices for common sports injuries, biofeedback allows a patient to be more in tune with how the therapy affects their body and be more involved in the healing process, leading to greater results for recovery.

In a study published in 2008 by The Journal for Consulting and Clinical Psychology, patients with constant tension headache issues were given biofeedback treatments to assess the validity of biofeedback as a long-term treatment option. Through biofeedback and relaxation techniques prompted by the study, there was a marked decrease in the severity, duration, and frequency of tension headaches. Particular attention was paid to muscle tension, and therapies were built around recognizing and treating the underlying muscle tension that caused these types of headaches. With problems such as tension headaches (a common problem that biofeedback has been shown to treat very well) muscle tension is a key function that is monitored and controlled.


total wellness â–Ş spring 2012

Regardless of what is being measured, a goal value for each bodily function is set and the patient uses relaxation techniques or positive reinforcement to reach their goal. Over a course of many visits, the patient’s bodily functions are recorded and monitored with emphasis on how they change once techniques are used to control them. As the patient gets a better control of such bodily functions, they can gauge whether their physical symptoms are improving. They can continue these techniques on their own if they are effective or develop new ones with the trained biofeedback technician if necessary.

Why choose biofeedback? Biofeedback is not a new technique. In fact, its roots are in Eastern practices such as yoga. Many of the outcomes of therapy include controlled breathing, positive thinking, visualization, and positive affirmation, which are the cornerstone of yoga and meditation. These techniques have been shown to improve stress-induced conditions, such as tension headaches, but current research has shown more chronic conditions such as ADHD can be treated with great efficacy by biofeedback. These simple techniques have a powerful effect on heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure that translate to a greater health for the patients. The greatest benefit of biofeedback therapy is the lack of outside intervention. There are no drugs and no remedies involved, just you and your body working in sync to treat common, stress-induced ailments, chronic ailments, and sports injuries. The long-term benefits seen in tension headaches, ADHD symptoms as well as other chronic conditions, and injury rehabilitation show the strength of biofeedback as a long-term therapy. Without drugs or continued therapy, a person can control and greatly reduce the amount of tension headaches, migraines, and other stress-induced problems they have after a few short visits, first monitoring their bodily functions and then developing and executing a way to control them.

What is it used to treat? Biofeedback is most effective against stress-induced illnesses. According to the Biofeedback Institute of Los Angeles, common biofeedback treatments center on athletic injuries, head trauma, stress, migraines, anxiety, and even chronic conditions such as ADD/ADHD symptoms and Autism symptoms. The greatest drawback of biofeedback is it is not a cure for any of these conditions, just a treatment that will greatly reduce some of their effects. For example, tension headache sufferers will not prevent migraines from occurring, but will be better equipped with dealing with the nausea, pain, and light sensitivity that is commonly associated with the condition. Similarly, those with ADHD can manage and control their symptoms better, which does lead to a better quality of life, but it does not cure the condition itself. Biofeedback is a powerful supplemental therapy, especially for sports injuries, a common occurrence on a campus that puts a strong emphasis on athletics.

total wellness â–Ş spring 2012

Where can I get it done? UCLA has its own biofeedback center that is easily accessible to students. The UCLA Wilshire Center has many machines and trained technicians that can guide students, faculty, or any member of the Los Angeles community through biofeedback therapies. They are open for appointments at (310) 794-0245. If biofeedback is something you are interested in, you can consult your own physician or insurance provider about how to get biofeedback treatments as well. t w


You can also check out the UCLA Marina Aquatic Center on the web at MAC for more water sports such as rowing, surfing, windsurfing, and sailing. They can also be contacted at (310) 823-0048 or

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protein sources:

options to boost your health by brian khoa nguyen | design by amorette jeng

From the bodybuilder to the recreational gym-goer,

Though the importance of protein is clear, one problem still remains: not all proteins are created equally. This is a fundamental but easily overlooked lesson; proteins are not all identical, but rather are made up of a diverse and unique set of building blocks, called amino acids. Different proteins contain a different assortment of amino acids - some of which the body can manufacture, and others (called essential amino acids) that must come from the diet. In addition, diversifying your sources permits an intake of not only a wider variety of essential amino acids, but also of vitamins, minerals and, in some cases, fiber. Here, we examine several of the most prominent and also several of the less familiar protein sources from animals, vegetables and supplements.

Not only does fish carry a good amount of high quality protein, it also yields very low levels of saturated fat. It also carries essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and have been linked to a reduced risk of certain common forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Fish also contributes minerals, including calcium and magnesium. Both of these support bone health; calcium supports cell function, and magnesium promotes muscular and cardiac health. Examples of fish rich in magnesium include cod, salmon and mackerel. One issue of concern when purchasing fish is the mercury level, which varies by species. It is easy to find the most sustainable and healthy fish options with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s guide which lists those fish with the lowest levels of mercury, including anchovies, sardines, catfish and freshwater trout.

eggs Egg protein is the gold standard for amino acid profiles since, like beef, whole eggs carry the full range of essential amino acids. Egg whites are a good option as well, since an egg white contains 3.6 of the 6.3 grams of protein in every egg. “The protein in eggs is almost equally split between the white and the yolk, with slightly more in the egg white,” comments Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, Assistant Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. The yolk is its nutritious cornerstone, providing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. However, the yolk also carries the entire egg’s cholesterol; doubling up with eggs as many breakfasters do would go beyond the daily recommended value of cholesterol. On that note, Bowerman adds that “dietary cholesterol doesn’t really affect blood levels of cholesterol that much, so even those with high cholesterol can work whole eggs into their diets.”


total wellness ▪ spring 2012

rainbow trout: lsantilli/istockphoto; three chicken eggs: tran the vuong/istockphoto

one nutritional question often persists: which proteins should be incorporated into an effective diet? Because of the wide variety of options available, it’s easy to see why the health-conscious consumer might get a bit confused. The nutritional roles that proteins play are not only widespread, but also indispensable. Next to water, protein molecules are the most abundant molecules in the human body, acting as the structural staple in nearly every cell, including those in hair, skin and, of course, muscle. Protein also serves as the primary source of amino acids, which in turn promote metabolic regulation, immune function and more. For the fitness-minded, higher protein diets are useful in muscle building and may help with weight control. According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for the average adult is 0.80 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.


protein powders soy


In its simplest form, soy protein powder is created from dried and ground soybeans after the fat and carbohydrates are removed. It is a popular protein alternative due to its nutritional benefits that are similar to whole soy. Since it’s derived from soybeans, soy protein powder provides a wholesome protein profile, may reduce cardiovascular disease risk, and is a great alternative for those who are lactose intolerant.

Casein is not as famous as its supplement sibling whey, but its features certainly merit its own discussion. Its most prominent advantage is its long digestion rate – a whopping seven hours to be fully processed by the body. Protein manufacturers have exploited this fact for the purpose of muscle recovery. Contrary to popular belief, such growth does not take place during the workout, but rather during sleeping when the muscles are recuperating. Logically, a steady stream of amino acids that is offered by casein could help maximize the recovery of muscles throughout the night. As a milk-derived protein, however, those with milk allergies would be advised to avoid casein.

While both soy protein powder and whole soy food products are widely available, many people find the taste and texture of soybeans, tofu, and soymilk tough to swallow. Soy protein powder mixes easily into foods and has a very mild flavor, so it enables people to derive the benefits of soy in a convenient form. Soy powder can be added to create creamy shakes or stirred into foods like cooked oatmeal to boost protein. Combining its complete protein profile, with the fact that it’s lactose-free and versatile, soy protein powder is a viable option for those looking to up their protein intake.

total wellness ▪ spring 2012

When it comes to supplementing protein, whey protein is a popular choice, more commonly consumed in its powder form, although it is found naturally in dairy foods such as milk and yogurt. Whey protein powder is derived from liquid whey, a by-product of milk coagulation that creates cheese. The by-product itself appears as a grainy powder, the likes of which many nutritional companies have commercialized as the familiar dietary supplement. Whey is usually available in three forms: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate, each of which yields a slightly different percentage of protein by weight. Whey is rich in some specific amino acids, called branched-chain amino acids, that are particularly important for muscle synthesis – which helps explain its popularity among weightlifters. A cautionary note: since whey is derived from milk, it is recommended that whey powder enthusiasts who suffer from lactose intolerance purchase whey isolate rather than concentrate products. According to Livestrong, whey isolate “contains less than a tenth of a gram of lactose per tablespoon” while concentrate tends to vary in lactose.


whey protein powder scoop: marek uliasz/istockphoto; veal: bruce mcintosh/istockphoto; grilled chicken: joe biafore/istockphoto; hemp seeds: alasdair thomson;


red meat Hamburgers, steak, roast beef, you name it. Meat has long been in the diets of athletes, for obvious reasons. Like all animal-derived proteins, meat carries the complete range of essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Add this to the fact that there are very few, if any, allergic properties and already meat can be a protein staple. Furthermore, meats are a good source of minerals; first, they provide plenty of zinc - which supports the function of the immune system, joints and tissues - as well as iron, a fundamental element for hemoglobin’s transport of oxygen in red blood cells. While red meats are well endowed with minerals and the essential amino acids, health-conscious consumers should be discerning in the quality of meat purchased. Meat is graded with rankings such as prime, choice, select, standard, and commercial. However, the grades often don’t appear on packaging. A good rule of thumb is to choose the leanest cuts of beef, pork or lamb to avoid high saturated fat content. For example, consumers can select extralean ground beef or pork tenderloin at the grocery store.

poultry Chicken and turkey are the go-to protein sources in the poultry aisle. They offer the entire essential amino acid profile, making poultry a common choice among exercisers. Besides its main role in providing protein, chicken, for example, has less saturated fat than beef; and opting for skinless chicken helps to avoid unnecessary fat and calories, since much of the fat lies directly under the skin. A common question concerns whether there are differences in the nutritional content between light and dark poultry meat. According to Livestrong, the answer is yes: “A one-on-one comparison of the content of both shows that chicken breast offers more of the essential amino acids than dark meat.” This difference, however, is slight. Dark meat still contains greater amounts of iron, zinc and vitamin B than white meat. Of course, it also has more fat, making white meat the lighter choice. Either light or dark meat can help fulfill a daily protein quota.

hemp seeds and protein powder


total wellness ▪ spring 2012

Hemp is a variety of cannabis that is primarily grown for its fiber and seeds. Not to be mistaken with recreational marijuana, hemp lacks the psychotropic traits popularly attributed to cannabis plants. Nutritionally, those hempseeds are extremely valuable, carrying not only a complete amino acid profile, but also essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Furthermore, hempseeds are a plentiful source of various vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, iron and manganese. It even supplies, interestingly enough, the polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLD), which helps fight inflammation. Hempseeds are sometimes ground to make hemp protein powder, which can be found at local grocery stores in different flavors and are easily added to drinks and meals. Hemp is certainly a valuable and unconventional source of protein to be considered.

Many vegetarians turn to soy as an alternative protein to meat, fish and poultry. Soy sources provide vitamins and minerals without significant levels of saturated fats, unlike most meats. One common source of soy protein is the soybean, the only vegetable containing all the essential amino acids; moreover, soybeans can contribute decent quantities of fiber. Soy protein can be obtained from foods such as edamame, soy milk, and tofu.

total wellness â–Ş spring 2012

Edamame (fresh soybeans with a protein quality that rivals that of meat and eggs) can be served in their pods, an appetizer commonly seen in Japanese restaurants, or shelled. Soy milk is a popular alternative for the lactose intolerant and comes highly equipped with protein, which is no surprise considering its extraction from soybeans. Soybeans are soaked overnight, ground, and filtered to produce the resulting liquid that’s used as an alternative to cow’s milk.

Tofu, the most recognizable source of soy protein, is formed by coagulating soy milk and subsequently pushing the curds into those famous white, soft blocks; there are various forms of tofu from soft to firm, depending on the amount of water extracted. Tofu can be incorporated into a diet with stir-frys or other Asian-inspired dishes. There are also many tofu-based products such as noodles or soy patties if plain tofu is not your taste. Unfortunately, the benefits of soy in lowering risk for heart disease remain unclear. While it does appear to lower the risk, that reduction appears to be small. One study found that consumption of 50 grams of soy protein daily resulted in only a 3% decrease in risk. There have also been issues raised about the controversy of a potential link between soy consumption and breast cancer. Currently, there is not decisive evidence of such a link, but some consumers remain wary. Nevertheless, the fact that soy protein provides all the essential amino acids, is cholesterol-free and very low in saturated fat makes it a healthy choice.

The key lesson to be learned here is the need to vary your protein sources in order to get a healthy amount of not only protein, but also minerals, vitamins and other nutritional necessities. Learning from the examples of casein and hempseed, those who are hoping to boost their protein intake need not simply turn to mainstream sources such as meat and whey protein but can also experiment with alternative sources. The combination of meat, vegetable and supplemental protein can not only fulfill even the most needy protein consumers, but also provide rich sources of minerals and vitamins that also contribute to body growth. So get creative with filling your protein quota! tw


soy products: igor dutina/istockphoto; right:

soy protein: whole foods

total wellness ❯❯ on the cover

inner cover

– Plato


total wellness ▪ spring 2012

"Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being,while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it."


sports injuries sports injuries


In Southern California, the sunny weather and warm temperatures give plenty of incentive to go out and do some recreational sports. While exercising does wonders for health, proper warm-ups and staying injury-free should always remain an utmost priority. Here are some common sport injuries, symptoms to look out for, common treatments, and most importantly, how to prevent them. 22

by kevin sung | design by karen chu

left: denis kartavenko/ istockphoto; right: himmy’s drift/

total wellness â–Ş spring 2012

common sports injuries and how to prevent them

SHOULDER INJURY Ripping forehands and backhands produces a great deal of strain on shoulder. The rotator cuffs, which help control the joint during rotation on the shoulder, are the muscles primarily responsible for producing the swinging motion in a tennis serve or overhead smashes. Fatigue or weakness of the rotator cuffs results in significant friction in the ball and socket joint connecting the arm to the shoulder. The extra irritation can cause inflammation in the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles. A fluid filled sac called the bursa, which helps lubricate the rotator cuff tendon movement, can also become inflamed from overuse. A more severe case of shoulder injury is a rotator cuff tear. The degeneration of the rotator cuff can result in limited movement, pain, swelling, and cracking during movement.

SWIMMER’S SHOULDER Swimming provides both a way to exercise and a way to stay cool, but the forces of pushing against water may cause problems if one is not careful. Because of the unusual demands that swimming has in using the upper body for locomotion, a swimmer’s injury comes mostly from overuse in the shoulders. The rotator cuffs that hold the arm in the shoulder joint suffer from unnatural stress when they are not strong enough to support the shoulder. This leads to pain while taking a stroke while swimming. In the United States, this condition has been reported at 35% even in elite swimmers. Pain usually occurs deep in the shoulder, and presents during swimming. Continued swimming could result in the pain being present during normal activity. Reproducible clicking may indicate a possible tear in the shoulder as well.


PREVENTION: Always stretch and perform an adequate warm-up routine. Paying attention to proper form and technique will also help lower chances of shoulder injury. Regularly resting the shoulder that is repeatedly used in a sport is also key.


TREATMENT: Non-surgical treatment for rotator cuff tear involves physical therapy and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgery could also repair the muscles of the rotator cuffs. Seek medical advice from a health care provider.


PREVENTION: Proper stroke technique will help prevent this condition. Small adjustments such as not crossing the midline of your body for each stroke and a bilateral breathing pattern (breathing on alternate sides) will help develop balanced swim strokes.


TREATMENT: Normal treatment for swimmer’s shoulder simply involves resting and icing to prevent inflammation. Physical therapy is a common route to regain the strength of the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder before resuming swimming. If the pain in the shoulders persists for longer than six months, surgery may be recommended. Consult a health care professional regarding the condition for proper route of treatment if pain persists after six to 12 months of rest and treatment.


PREVENTION: A regular stretching and warm-up routine of the muscles that extend the wrist or bend it backward will lower the chances of developing tennis elbow. Strengthening of these muscles will also help decrease the likelihood of injury. Paying attention to racquet grip and swing technique can also prevent tennis elbow.


TREATMENT: Tennis elbow can heal by simply allowing the arm sufficient rest from the activity that causes the discomfort for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Icing the outside of the elbow twice a day can help the healing process. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin may also help in swelling that can develop from the tears in tendon. Many times, injections are done to combat the pain. Surgery may be recommended as a second option if pain persists after 6 to 12 months of rest and treatment. Always consult your health care provider if symptoms are severe. 23

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Perhaps the most common injury in tennis is the “tennis elbow.” The condition is characterized by elbow pain, weak grasp of a racquet, or pain coming from the outside of the elbow that spreads to the forearm and back of the hand when twisting the arm or grasping. The forearm muscles are attached to the bone on the outside of the elbow by tissue called tendons. Overuse of these muscles causes small tears in the tendons, resulting in the irritation and pain in the elbow. Hence, this injury occurs in people who play with racquets, which include tennis, badminton, and racquetball.



PREVENTION: Stretching legs and incorporating a thorough warm-up and warm-down routine to every workout is essential to help prevent injury. It is also a good idea for an individual to take a few weeks off after several months of workouts to allow the body to fully recover. Consider evaluating your breaststroke kick to ensure proper kick technique.

With the whip-like motion required of the legs in breaststroke, strain to the ligaments in the knee is a common injury in swimmers performing this stroke. The prevalent injury is the straining of ligaments, called laxity, and the medial collateral ligament on the inside of the knee is the ligament most commonly damaged. If you feel knee pains while swimming breaststroke, take a break from swimming.




Shin splints usually present in pain along the bone on the inner edge of the lower leg. This bone, called the tibia, is not actually cracked or broken. The pain results in the inflammation of the tendon and adjacent tissue covering the front of the leg. Shin splints most commonly occur in runners, but can occur in any individual who does physical activity involving many sharp starts and stops. Common symptoms for mild shin splints involves discomfort in the inner side of the lower leg during the beginning of a workout, with mild but reappearing pain. As the condition worsens, however, the pain will become more consistent. Sometimes, it is difficult to distinguish between shin splints and stress fractures. An MRI can be used in order to help in the diagnosis.




A sprain results from a stretched or torn ligament, which is the tissue connecting the bones to joints. While ankle sprains are common in basketball, this type of injury can also occur in any situation when the foot gets planted on an uneven surface and gets twisted beyond its normal motions. There are three categories of sprains, running from Grade 1 to Grade 3. A Grade 1 sprain results from slight stretching of the ligament. Partial tears in the ligament in the ankle characterize a Grade 2 sprain. A Grade 3 sprain is the most severe form of sprain, with the ligament completely torn.


TREATMENT: Most commonly, rest and ice should treat this condition. Continuing knee pains could require more extreme methods of treatment such as surgery. Consult a health care professional for the appropriate path of treatment.

PREVENTION: Several risk factors increase individual’s chances of developing shin splints. The most prevalent involves increasing the intensity of a workout. If the body were not given the appropriate rest to adjust to the higher levels of exercise, the stress would cause shin splints. Having flat or rigid arches in one’s feet also increases a person’s risk for shin splints. Choosing suitable running shoes would easily correct this problem. TREATMENT: Shin splints can go away with rest. Icing the afflicted area to reduce inflammation also helps the injury. Wearing arch supports can help the process of healing by dispersing a person’s body weight over a larger area. Consult a health professional for the proper route of treatment.

PREVENTION: A thorough warm-up routine and stretching can aid in preventing a sprained ankle. Keeping the muscles around the ankle and foot conditioned and flexible will also help. Most importantly, take caution when doing athletic activity on uneven surfaces. Proper exercises for strengthening the ankle and developing good coordination such as using a balance board can provide great help in preventing ankle sprains as well.


TREATMENT: The common treatment for an ankle sprain is the “RICE” method, consisting of resting, icing the affected area, compressing dressings and bandages to immobilize the ankle, and elevating the ankle above the heart. Consult a health care provider to evaluate the severity of a sprain and additional proper steps for treating the injury.

himmy’s drift/ istockphoto

total wellness ▪ spring 2012


KNEE INJURIES Jump stops, sharp cuts, and the quick movements essential in basketball can put a great deal of strain on the knee. The knee consists of ligaments on the sides of the knee as well as in the front and back of the knee. The ligament on the inside of the knee, called the medial collateral ligament, could suffer from injury from a blow to the knee. An injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, the ligaments in the center of the knee joint, could have more serious consequences.

STRESS FRACTURES For junior players and those new to the game of tennis, the stress fracture is an injury to watch out for. Because these players have not grown accustomed to the types of stress that tennis puts on the body, increasing training at a rapid pace can cause muscle fatigue. As the muscles can no longer support the stress placed on them, more stress gets transferred to bone. Because the bone cannot adapt to the sudden increase in stress, it cracks. The micro-cracks in bone cause pain, and are not an actual break or displacement of bone. These injuries can also result in swelling near the position of the cracks. Stress fractures are most common in the lower leg or the foot.


PREVENTION: Properly rest in between workouts and increase intensity of tennis playing in small amounts to avoid training too much too quickly. Choosing a suitable pair of tennis shoes will also reduce the chances of this problem. Tennis shoes have additional lateral support to help


PREVENTION: While maintaining fitness is importance, always remember that overtraining will increase the risks of injury. A health care professional may suggest injury prevention programs or a routine incorporated in warm-ups to reduce the dangers of knee injuries.


TREATMENT: A tear of a knee ligament such as the anterior cruciate ligament may need to be surgically repaired. For less active people, a doctor may suggest non-surgical treatment such as physical therapy and bracing the knee if the stability of the knee is deemed intact. These methods, however, are generally used for less active individuals, since those who do not participate in sports involving planting and cutting will function quite well without surgery. Rehabilitation can monitor the health of the knee, and should further problems present, surgery may still become necessary. Consult a health care professional for the correct path of treatment.

alleviate the stress of sudden starts and stops of sideto-side movement required in tennis. They also have flat soles that help prevent stumbling or sliding. The most important advice is gradually increase in the frequency and intensity of impact loading, which gives the bone sufficient time to adapt as it gets stronger. The idea is to increase the threshold, progressively, instead of exceeding the threshold, which causes the stress fracture.


TREATMENT: Immediately stop physical activity if a stress fracture is possibly present. Apply an ice pack and avoid placing weight on the injured area until after seeing a doctor. Depending on the location and severity of the stress fracture, different treatments would be recommended. X-rays often do not pick up stress fractures, so other imaging techniques such as MRI can be used by doctors during the diagnostic process. Non-surgical treatment could last six to eight weeks and may involve wearing a cast. More severe fractures could involve surgery. Rehabilitation is usually necessary after the fracture has healed.


PREVENTION: Stretching and strengthening the calf muscles provide the best method for keeping the Achilles tendon injury-free. In addition, proper pacing of the rate of training intensity reduces the likelihood of this injury to occur as well.


TREATMENT: Seek medical advice if you suspect you have ruptured your Achilles tendon. Although a non-surgical approach of wearing a cast is possible, the tendon is more likely to become injured again. Surgery is the preferred treatment for a complete tear in the Achilles tendon. Both surgical and non-surgical treatments commonly include rehabilitation programs to restrengthen the leg muscles and tendon. Consult a medical professional for the proper route of treatment. t w 25

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The Achilles tendon is a small cord of fibrous tissue that runs along the back of the heel up to the calf muscles behind the leg. Overextending this tendon can cause it to tear, usually accompanied by a popping sensation and sharp pain behind the ankle area. Individuals who sustain this injury usually have difficulty walking properly and cannot stand on their toes.



Kombucha: A True Miracle Drink? by leanna tu | design by jennifer shieh and amorette jeng

Kombucha, a health beverage touted by the fans of other healing

drinks like acai and pomegranate juice, has gained recent media attention for its marketed detoxifying properties and probiotic content. With claims of increasing energy, improving eyesight and aiding cancer recovery, it sounds like a miracle drink, but what really is Kombucha?

Kombucha originated in ancient China’s Qin Dynasty (221206 B.C.) and propelled by its healing properties, made its way into Russian, German, and Indian cultures. Within the past several years, it has experienced renewed popularity among health enthusiasts. Some people brew kombucha at home, trading recipes and exchanging mushroom cultures. Others buy the drink from grocery and health food stores. Mainstream companies such as Red Bull, Tazo, and Honest Tea have begun to market their own kombucha lines, and G.T.’s Kombucha by Millennium Products is the leading brand with over $40 million in sales in 2010. With all this attention, we decided to take a look into this hyped-up drink.

What is it?

total wellness ▪ spring 2012

Kombucha, also known as mushroom tea, is a health drink made by fermenting black tea with a microbia “mushroom.” This mushroom is not a fungus, but rather a symbiotic colony of domesticated bacteria and yeast, scientifically classified as a zoogleal mat. The colony is combined with tea and sugar, and is allowed to ferment for seven to ten days. This process results in a slightly carbonated, fermented solution rich in B vitamins, acids, vinegar, and a number of other chemical compounds. Fermentation also creates a minimal amount of alcohol, but the varieties now available in supermarkets have levels below the 0.5% federal limit.

Promoted Uses/Health Benefits Kombucha’s proponents have touted the drink as an “elixir of life” and the “tea of immortality.” It has been called a cure-all for a broad range of conditions including insomnia, acne, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, allergies, hangovers, and even HIV and cancer. Fans claim it stimulates the immune system and detoxifies the body.


But is it really the miracle tonic it’s cracked up to be? Although there have been studies done on mice investigating kombucha’s effects, there is a lack of clinical evidence supporting its efficacy in humans. Here we examine kombucha’s most common health claims from a scientific perspective.


A Brief History

The Science Behind the Ingredients When the kombucha mushroom digests the sugar and ferments, it produces a mixture of various compounds to which fans attribute many health benefits. A single eight fluid ounce serving of G.T.’s Organic Raw Kombucha Original Flavor (a popular Kombucha brand) contains: ❯ 20% daily value of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12 The B vitamins play important roles in enzyme function and protein pathways that regulate metabolism in our body’s cells. These B vitamins, along with the caffeine and sugar present in the drink, may contribute to the supposed energy-boosting effects of kombucha. ❯

25% daily value of folic acid Necessary for red blood cell production, folic acid prevents anemia. It also helps maintain the health of the immune and nervous systems.

❯ 10 mg Glucuronic Acid Glucuronic acid is naturally formed in the liver and functions by binding toxins together and making them water soluble and harmless. This allows toxins to pass through the urine, and thus acts as a detoxifier. Daily use of over-the-counter and prescription drugs as well as excessive amounts of alcohol decrease the body’s capability to manufacture glucuronic acid, and research shows that this deficiency can be supplemented by ingesting the acid. This is especially important, as glucuronic acid is one of the few detoxifying agents able to process the toxic byproducts of the petroleum industry such as plastics and pesticides. A 2009 study published in Chinese Medicine showed that the glucuronic acid present in kombucha not only reduced toxin levels but also may have repaired damage done by environmental pollutants as observed in mice. Although there are no documented human studies on glucuronic acid specifically in kombucha, proponents attribute much of the drink’s healing ability to this organic acid. ❯ 25 mg Lactic Acid New research spearheaded by Dr. George A. Brooks of the University of California, Berkeley suggests that rather than causing muscle soreness and fatigue, lactic acid may actually be used by the body as an additional source of energy. Brooks’ research focuses on the ability of muscle cells to convert glucose or glycogen to lactic acid, which is then taken up as fuel by the mitochondria, our cells’ energy factories. Thus, lactic acid aids in carbohydrate metabolism. However, his research was based on lactic acid produced during intense exercise rather than orally administered. ❯ 3 mg Acetic Acid Acetic acid—recognizable by the distinct vinegary-smell of kombucha—has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels if consumed with a carbohydrate-rich meal. A 2005 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition also concluded that small amounts of acetic acid supplementation increased subject rating of satiety, meaning that acetic acid may keep you fuller for longer after meals.


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❯ 100 mg epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) EGCG is the main antioxidant found in green tea. This is within the range of regular brewed green tea, which contains anywhere from 40 to 120 mg of EGCG in eight fluid ounces. In a 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research, scientists showed that EGCG inhibited the growth of cancer cells. EGCG may also improve the health of patients with acute cardiovascular disease, prevent osteoporosis, and suppress virus replication.

Warnings/Dangers The label of G.T.’s Kombucha states:

“Kombucha is a food product and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” In the United States, kombucha is sold as a dietary supplement, which means that the federal Food and Drug Administration does not ensure that it is safe or effective. In addition, the lack of scientific studies backing up kombucha’s health claims have resulted in doctors regarding the drink with caution. Dr. Andrew Weil, an international leader in alternative medicine, states, “I don’t recommend kombucha tea at all. I know of no scientific studies backing up the health claims made for it.” The acids produced during fermentation decrease the pH of the stomach and may interfere with the absorption of certain medications. Also, while the probiotics floating in the drink may keep the digestive tract flourishing with good bacteria, individuals with compromised immune systems such as children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those affected with chronic diseases are more susceptible to a possible yeast or bacterial infection, despite the health claims. In 1995 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that linked kombucha to the illness of one woman and the death of another. Both women suffered acute metabolic acidosis, which is excessive acid buildup in the body. Health experts attributed this condition to their daily consumption of kombucha. The patients had been brewing homemade kombucha from the same mushroom source and drank at least four ounces daily for two months. Other cases of excessive acid buildup have been reported, along with nausea, vomiting, and headaches, in people drinking more than four ounces of kombucha a day.

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It should be noted that these symptoms were all observed in people who were growing kombucha in their own homes. In addition to acid buildup, there is a possibility of contamination of home-brewed kombucha with toxic species of fungi. The safest way to enjoy kombucha is to drink from a reputable commercial brand.

Although there have not been any studies published about human consumption of kombucha, it does not mean that there are no potential health benefits. Keep in mind however, that there are many other sources of probiotics, vitamin B, and organic acids that do not cost $3-5 per bottle. Until more conclusive research is obtained, drink this product in moderation and with caution. t w



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Learn more. Enroll now.

The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine Examining the theories and practices of Western biomedicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.


total wellness ▪ spring 2012

Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior Research and education devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior.


personalizing nutrition: combining western and eastern perspectives

the western perspective Western approaches focus on the physical body, using numbers and measurements to indicate the normal healthy range. Lately, Western approaches have begun to steer farther away from the standardized food pyramid and closer to more personalized nutrition. A 2009 study published in Nutrition Reviews found that food components can interact directly with the body’s molecular machinery, including the immune system, and acts differently based on unique genetics.

by julie bree horie | design by barbara wong

›› It probably comes as no surprise that each individual is built differently – from bone structure, to fat content, to even the genetics of each cell within the body. It makes sense, then, that the best way to achieve optimal health does not lie in a onesize-fits-all approach, but rather an understanding of one’s own body. Both Eastern and Western perspectives on health and nutrition can be used as powerful tools for creating a personalized plan for your body.

Nutritional Content of Foods

Through scientific experiments and epidemiological studies, Westerners tend to break down foods into their individual components and generalize their effects regardless of individual responses. Food compositions – proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals – remain at the core of recommended daily allowances, as well as nutritional advice for the overall population. This was, after all, how the well-known Food Pyramid came to be. With recent advancements and research, however, a modern approach to health called Metabolic Typing has gained popularity. According to this philosophy, just as each person’s outward appearance is unique (from skin color to face shape to height), everyone is also unique internally on a biochemical or metabolic level. Thus, the effect of any given food depends on the person’s unique metabolic characteristics.



Western approaches, like Eastern approaches, stress the importance of maintaining balance in a healthy lifestyle and diet. The difference in the Western perspective, however, rests in its tendency to quantify this balance by using the term “calorie” to represent a unit of energy supplied by food. More than just a number on a nutritional label, calories are at the root of maintaining bodily functions. To remain in balance and maintain your body weight, the calories consumed from foods must be balanced by the calories exhausted from day-to-day functions and physical exercise. Every body is unique and may require a different caloric intake, depending on the diet and physical activity incorporated in each person’s lifestyle.


As western technologies advance, nutrigenomics, or “personalized nutrition” has become a quickly emerging field. This field applies the human genome to personal health by providing individuals with dietary recommendations according to their unique genetic makeup. For instance, a 2009 study published in Atherosclerosis found that omega-3 fatty acids are processed more effectively by some individuals than others, depending on the presence of certain genetic variations. Although much of the research in this field is still in its preliminary stages, Western medicine is taking strides to orienting nutrition more towards the individual rather than the population.


left: photo_hamsterman/istockphoto; right: pixitive

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the eastern perspective Eastern methodologies, on the other hand, have always taken a more holistic approach to health as they emphasize the balance of the mind, body, and spirit of the individual, as well as the interplay between the body and the environment.

The individuality of each person is nurtured not only through diet but also through lifestyle practices. Read on to discover the practice that embraces this concept to its core: Krishnamacharya / Viniyoga


Yin and Yang Foods

Eastern traditions describe the forces yin and yang as energetic qualities that shape everything in the universe, including food. Yin foods are associated with coolness, dampness, and darker color, whereas yang foods bring warmth, dryness, and light. Likewise, yin foods tend to be cooling and moistening for the body and include boiled spinach, baked tofu, toast, salads, cucumbers, leafy vegetables, melons, pears, beans, sprouts, and water. Yang foods, on the other hand, include meats, fish, eggs, olive oil, cooked root vegetables, onions, red wine, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, quinoa, and buckwheat. Some people tend to be more yin and require larger quantities of yang foods, while other people are just the opposite. It is also important to remember that a person’s constitution is always changing, so foods may be adjusted with the seasons and other life situations.


Eating to Meet your Ayurvedic Constitution

Ayurveda, translated as the “science of life,” is one of the most deeply rooted systems of medicine, dating back to the 9th century BC. Balance is the main aspiration of this practice and can be achieved through diet, yoga, and herbal preparations. The principles of Ayurveda are founded upon the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) that shape all things in the universe. These three doshas correspond to different body types, each of which requires a different diet for optimal health. Each individual possesses a unique Ayurvedic constitution, known as prakriti, consisting of varying amounts of each of these three doshas. Imbalance, also known as vikriti, can be restored through different foods, which are compartmentalized into six tastes (bitter, pungent, astringent, salty, sour, and sweet) as well as six major food qualities (heavy, light, oily, dry, hot, and cold). Eating the foods that cater to one’s personal blueprint helps to maintain balance and ultimately prevent disease.


Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center has also taken steps towards individualizing health by implementing the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program, which brings yoga and other healing arts into hospitals. This ground-breaking program works towards a more holistic method of healing, focusing on the individual rather than solely treating the disease.

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At first glance, the different perspectives on food can seem overwhelming and confusing. However, the Eastern and Western approaches actually complement each other, and in many ways, advocate similar messages in different languages. The first step to achieving optimal health is to learn the energetics of your own body. It may be useful to keep a personal journal and take note of the foods that make you feel most energetic as well as those that feel more heavy and draining to your body. Once you understand and explore what makes your body unique, you can take the next steps to improve your health. tw


Founded upon the principle that yoga must be adapted to an individual’s needs for them to reap the maximum therapeutic benefit, Krishnamacharya Yoga uses one-onone practices to teach, rather than sequences solely for physical exercise. The founder of Viniyoga, T.K.V. Desikachar, once said that “[yoga] should be spoken of carefully and offered with due regard for the aspirations, needs and cultural background of the individual…The appropriate application of Yoga – involving physical exercises, deep breathing, relaxation, meditation, lifestyle, food, studies and so forth – is, for me, what is represented by the word viniyoga.” Through breath-centered movements, Viniyoga evolves with and caters to the practitioner’s unique and changing conditions.

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or in person, or call to make your first appointment. Crisis counseling is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (310) 825-0768.

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Questions? E-mail


oil origins by teni karimian | design by barbara wong

Oils are often an area of concern


total wellness ▪ spring 2012

right: elena schweitzer/istockphoto

for health-minded consumers, but with so many oils on the market, picking the right ones can quickly turn into a slippery slope. Since oils are a crucial part of a wellbalanced diet, it’s important to explore the plethora of healthy options. In fact, cooking with the right oils can turn a lackluster dish into a flavorful, nutritious meal. To make a well informed choice, it’s essential to understand the terminology as well as specific health benefits and drawbacks of each oil.

the guide »

What’s a Smoke Point? The smoke point is the temperature at which oils break down into glycerol and free fatty acids. Upon further heating, glycerol is broken down into acrolein (a component of smoke) and a bluish smoke is produced. As an oil’s smoke point increases, the free fatty acid content decreases and the degree of refinement increases. Subsequently, the time that the oil can be heated increases. Heating oils above their smoke point releases toxic fumes and harmful free radicals. When heated to the smoke point, not only does the nutritional value of an oil degrade because the oil is broken down into glycerol and free fatty acids, but also the flavor is compromised.

Peanut Oil

Olive Oil

Smoke point: 350 ˚F

Smoke point: 325 ˚F A monounsaturated fat, olive oil is commonly used for light sautéing, in salad dressings and sauces like pesto. Olive oil can help lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, as well as aid in normalizing blood clotting. According to a 2002 study in Biochemical and Biophysical Communications, olive oil is a potent scavenger of free radicals and it can also decrease the incidence of coronary heart disease and certain cancers.

Peanut oil is a very flavorful alternative and can also be used in light sautéing, sauces, and salad dressings. As a monounsaturated fat, peanut oil can lower bad cholesterol, lower triglyceride levels, and help reduce the risk of heart disease. It is rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants as well as phytosterols which benefit cardiovascular health. Peanut oil has also been shown to be instrumental in weight loss. According to a 2010 study in Market Quality and Handling Research, consumption of peanut oil hinders increases in total cholesterol and cholesteryl ester levels associated with weight gain.

Almond Oil Smoke point: 495 ˚F

Avocado Oil Smoke point: 510 ˚F With a smoke point nearly unmatched, avocado oil becomes a great candidate for any kind of high heat cooking. Its delicate flavor also makes it a good choice for salad dressings. Avocado oil is a monounsaturated fat and has been proven to reduce low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, as well as lower the risks of coronary heart disease. Furthermore, it is rich in vitamins B, C, and E.

Safflower Oil

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Smoke point: 450 ˚F

Grapeseed Oil Smoke point: 420 ˚F As another polyunsaturated fat with low saturated fat levels, grapeseed oil is great for cooking and grilling of all kinds. It has a mild and nutty flavor that is versatile enough to be used in a large variety of cooking styles and dishes as well as drizzled over a salad. Most notably, grapeseed oil reduces bad cholesterol levels in the arteries and is rich in vitamins C and E. It has also been used topically to rejuvenate skin.


Safflower oil is a polyunsaturated fat with low saturated fat levels. It is a good all-purpose oil used in high heat cooking. It can be used in a variety of meals, from brown rice and pasta, to chicken and in salads. This oil is extracted from the seeds of a safflower plant and has high levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. Safflower oil is also rich in vitamin E and antioxidants that cleanse the body of free radicals, and is a hearthealthy alternative. As a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, safflower oil has also been shown to help the body burn fat.

left (in order): valentyn volkov/istockphoto; timsa/istockphoto; mau horng/istockphoto; kontur-vid/ istockphoto; eyewave/istockphoto; marilyn barbone/istockphoto; right (in order): valentyn volkov/ istockphoto; luchschen/istockphoto; jitkaunv/istockphoto; marilyn barbone/istockphoto

Due to its high smoke point, almond oil is a great choice for high heat cooking. The pronounced flavor makes it a good choice for desserts as well. Almond oil is another member of the monounsaturated fats family and is especially high in omega-6 fatty acids which are fundamental in growth and development. More specifically, omega-6 fatty acids play a major role in complex regional pain syndrome, a nervous system problem characterized by chronic pain. Almond oil also stimulates hair growth and skin regeneration when used topically. Along with aiding digestion, almond oil supports organs, nerves and brain tissue.

types of fats

Walnut Oil Smoke point: 400 ˚F

Sunflower Oil Smoke point: 460 ˚F Not to be confused with safflower oil, sunflower oil is also a polyunsaturated fat with a low saturated fat level. Its high smoke point lends to the fact that it can be used in high heat cooking. There are three kinds of sunflower oil, each having a different level of oleic acid. The three kinds are linoleic sunflower oil, high oleic sunflower oil, and NuSun or “mid-oleic” sunflower oil. Linoleic sunflower oil is the most common type of sunflower oil with low saturated fat levels. This oil typically contains 65% polyunsaturated fat, 21% monounsaturated fat and 11% saturated fat. High oleic sunflower oil on the other hand is very high in oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. Lastly, Nu-Sun or mid-oleic sunflower oil falls in the middle with 26% polyunsaturated fat and 65% monounsaturated fat. Regardless of which kind, sunflower oil provides more vitamin E than other oils and also lowers low density lipoprotein levels, as well as decreasing risk of heart disease.

Canola Oil Smoke point: 425 ˚F

Flaxseed Oil Smoke point: 225 ˚F As a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, this polyunsaturated fat proves to be a hearthealthy choice. However, its low smoke point makes usage tricky. Flaxseed oil should not be used for cooking over heat; instead, it should be stirred into dishes after heating or used in salad dressings, salsas, cold dips, and smoothies. The omega-3 fatty acid content as well as the amino acid groups found in flaxseed oil contribute to the significant blood pressure lowering capabilities of the oil. Furthermore, flaxseed oil prevents plaque from being deposited in the arteries and subsequently thwarts hardening of the artery walls.

With the abundance of healthy oils on the market, healthy eating becomes a more feasible option. Depending on the style of cooking and flavor profile required, there are various alternatives that can turn a greasy dinner into a flavorful, and more notably, healthy meal. However it is important to keep in mind, moderation is key not only in using oils, but in everyday living. Regardless of the health benefits of these oils, most are also high in calories or contain low levels of saturated fats both of which, if over consumed can be detrimental to overall health. tw

›› trans fats are created in an industrial process where hydrogen atoms are added to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. For this reason, trans fats are also called partially hydrogenated oils. According to a 2010 study in Food Science and Nutrition, it is best to entirely avoid trans fats since consumption is linked to coronary heart disease and diabetes. ›› simple fats that have one unsaturated carbon atom are called monounsaturated fats. These are typically liquid at room temperature but may turn solid when chilled. Because they have been linked to lowering LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL levels, monounsaturated fats are nutritionally beneficial when used in moderation. ›› polyunsaturated fats have more than one unsaturated carbon atom. These types of fats are also liquid at room temperature and are nutritionally beneficial. According to a 2002 study in Diabetologia, substituting saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats changes abdominal fat distribution and improves insulin sensitivity. Polyunsaturated fats also include essential fats, such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, that the body needs but can’t produce. These fatty acids support normal growth and development as well as stimulate skin and hair growth, bone health, and brain function.


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Canola oil is a monounsaturated fat and can be used in baking, sautéing, stir-fries, and in dressings. Made from crushing seeds of a canola plant, canola oil has the lowest saturated fat content of almost all of the commonly used cooking oils. On the other hand, its high unsaturated fat levels contribute to the oil having high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) which helps protect the heart by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation.

Walnut oil is a polyunsaturated fat and a great source for omega-3 fatty acids. It is utilized in baking, sautéing at low to medium heat and in sauces and dressings. Among its many health benefits, walnut oil has high levels of antioxidants, minerals (specifically manganese and copper) as well as melatonin. Walnut oil also helps with blood circulation, lowering the risk of heart disease, reducing inflammation, and maintaining hormone levels.

›› saturated fats have a chemical make-up where the carbon atoms are entirely saturated by hydrogen atoms. They are typically solid at room temperature and the general rule to keep in mind with saturated fats is, the fewer the better.


better butter? by teni karimian | design by rebecca wang

There’s no denying that butter


left: (clockwise) milanphoto/istockphoto, jose miguel barcelo/istockphoto, louishiemstra,istockphoto, fotographiabasica/istockphoto ; right:sorendls/istockphoto

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can make almost everything taste better, but unfortunately there are health risks associated with the overconsumption of butter. Numerous alternatives and substitutes have been churned out that tout themselves as being heart healthy, lower in fat, and superior in taste, among other things. But with so many choices, it’s time for an in-depth view to get the skinny on butter and its alternatives.

Smart Balance Omega-3

Organic Earth Balance

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Calories: 80 Fat: 9 g Saturated Fat: 2.5 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 100 mg Pros: Smart Balance Omega-3 can be used as a better butter alternative because it consists of healthy oils and no trans fats. It also incorporates natural plant sterols, which are a group of unsaturated steroid alcohols, which help support healthy cholesterol levels. More specifically, it is designed to improve the LDL to HDL ratio by lowering LDL levels and increasing HDL levels. I  t also contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E which help in lowering high blood pressure and healing scars and scar tissue respectively. Cons: Although it is a smarter choice than butter, moderation is a must. Smart Balance does contain artificial flavors and preservatives such as calcium disodium EDTA which acts as a chelating agent removing heavy metals from the body and is linked with lowering vitamin levels like vitamin C and various B vitamins. Smart Balance does also contain more sodium than butter.

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Calories: 100 Fat: 11 g Saturated Fat: 3.5 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 120 mg Pros: Earth Balance provides a vegan substitute to butter and is made from a natural oil blend consisting of soybean, palm oil, canola oil, and olive oil. This non-dairy alternative has no trans fat and does well in baking and cooking. Earth Balance consists of plant fats, making it a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and also contains polyunsaturated fats that lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce serum LDL cholesterol levels. Cons: E  arth Balance has the same amount of calories as butter, just about as much fat per tablespoon, and most notably more sodium than butter. It also consists of soy lecithin which has been linked to higher estrogen levels associated with a higher risk for certain cancers. M   oreover, soy lecithin also consists of proteins that can trigger allergic reactions.

Land O’ Lakes Butter

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Calories: 80 Fat: 8 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 95 mg Pros: Olivio combines real butter with canola and olive oils to make a lighter, healthier alternative to butter itself. It has no trans fats or cholesterol and has omega-3 fatty acids. Olivio is also high in monounsaturated fat which lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as reduces the risk of heart disease. It is a versatile alternative that can be used for cooking, baking and frying. Cons: A   lthough Olivio does seem to be a better alternative than butter on most fronts, moderation is still key in consumption of this butter substitute. Olivio has 80 calories per tablespoon and 8 grams of fat which if overconsumed can lead to health problems. It also contains calcium disodium EDTA, a preservative that acts as a chelating agent and may deplete the body of certain vitamins.

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Calories: 102 Fat: 11.5 g Saturated Fat: 7.3 g Cholesterol: 31 mg Sodium: 82 mg Pros: Butter contains a large amount of the most absorbable form of vitamin A, which is necessary for thyroid and adrenal health. Furthermore, it contains lauric acid and lecithin which are essential for treating fungal infections and cholesterol metabolism, respectively. Butter is also a great source of vitamins E and K, as well as the mineral selenium and contains antioxidants to protect against free radical damage. Cons: Because it is made from animal fat, butter consists of 63% saturated fat and contains cholesterol. Overconsumption of butter has been linked to certain health problems such as heart disease. According to a 2010 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition diets with high levels of saturated fat are linked to an increase in both LDL and HDL levels as well as increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Nutrition Facts Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Calories: 70 Fat: 8 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 90 mg Pros: Each tablespoon of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter consists of 10% of the daily value of calcium and 15% of the daily value of vitamin D. It also has a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Cons: I  Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter consists of hydrogenated oils, which are also known as trans fats. Not only do these man-made oils have no nutritional value, but they also increase the risk of obesity and heart disease.  

Butter vs. Margarine B     ecause it’s made from animal fat, butter contains cholesterol and high levels of saturated fats. M   argarine on the other hand is made from vegetable oils and contains no cholesterol. H   owever, the problem with margarine lies in its trans fat content. Trans fats increase “bad” cholesterol, or LDL (low density lipoprotein) levels while lowering “healthy” cholesterol, HDL (high density lipoprotein), levels. I  n short, trans fats increase the risks of heart disease and obesity. T  he general rule of thumb with margarine is, the more solid the margarine is, the more trans fat it contains. In other words, stick margarines contain more trans fats than tub margarines. Above all, the most important factor in regards to butter and margarine is moderation. R   egardless of the health benefits that one may have over the other, both butter and margarine need to be consumed in moderation. O   ver consumption has been linked to heart disease and obesity. t w


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I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

food pick


by leanna tu | design by karin yuen

traditionally been used as a dye and a sugar source. With nine grams of sugar in one cup, this root can add sweetness to your meal and contains 58 calories. Beets have a complex flavor often described as “earthy” and “richly sweet,” and therefore often appear on high-end restaurant menus. In addition, they are full of nutritional compounds and can be easily incorporated into your diet, whether eaten fresh, steamed, roasted, or canned. Find out more about what this root vegetable has to offer:

from the cookbook Beet & Chickpea Salad

5 cups beets, diced and drained (canned or fresh) 4 cups chickpeas, drained 1 large tomato, diced 1 large bell pepper, diced 1 medium red onion ⅛ cup fresh cilantro, shredded 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons honey 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar coarse sea salt and black pepper (coarse ground) to taste Combine the drained beets, chickpeas, tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion, and shredded cilantro in a large salad bowl. Mix well. To prepare the dressing, mix the olive oil, honey, and vinegar in a separate bowl and add it to the salad. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve the salad on a bed of lettuce or on its own.

Roasted Beets & Sautéed Beet Greens

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the beets leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse the greens, removing any large stems, and set aside. Toss the beets with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small baking pan. Cover and bake the beets for 45 to 60 minutes, or until you can easily slide a knife through the largest beets. While roasting the beets, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, cook for a minute. Tear beet greens into 2-3 inch pieces, cook and stir in the skillet until greens are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the beets and drizzle with red-wine vinegar, and serve aside the greens.



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1 bunch of beets with greens (around 3-4 beets) ¼ cup olive oil, divided 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 tablespoons chopped onion 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional) salt and pepper to taste

❯ One cup of raw, drained beets provides 22% of your daily value of manganese, essential for healthy bones, 37% of your daily value of folic acid, a B-complex vitamin that is important for red blood cell production and fetal development, 11% of your daily value of vitamin C, 13% of your daily value of potassium, and 15% of your daily value of fiber. ❯ The main phytonutrient in beets is in the betalain class, which gives the vegetable its distinctive deep red color. Betanin, a specific type of betalain pigment, is an antioxidant that protects cells from DNA-damaging free radicals. In addition to preventing oxidative stress, a 2012 study published in the Free Radical Research Journal provided evidence that betalains protect cells from nitrosative stress. Nitrosative stress is caused by an excess amount of highly reactive nitric oxide in the body, which leads to reactions that interfere with the function of proteins. Researchers have discovered that betanin inhibits DNA strand cleavage, which decreases the amount of nitric oxide in the body. This in turn can reduce the risk of heart disease. - Betalains also help to detoxify the body by triggering the activity of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) proteins that bind with toxins in the bloodstream and make them water-soluble. These complexes are carried to the liver and are then safety escorted through the digestive tract for excretion. ❯ Beets have also been associated with lowered cancer risk. According to a study published in Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry in 2011, betanin exhibits significant cytotoxicity towards human prostate cancer cell lines. After just seven days of treating cells with red beetroot extract, the scientists observed a 12.5% decrease in the cancer cell growth rate. Previous studies have demonstrated suppressed development of multi-organ tumors in experimental animals. Although extensive studies have not been conducted on human subjects, these findings indicate a potential use of beet compounds to combat cancer. ❯ The compounds in beets have anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the risk of chronic heart disease as well as type II diabetes through several chemical pathways. Betanin and isobetanin in particular inhibit COX1 and COX-2 enzymes, preventing them from producing chemical messengers that trigger inflammation pathways. In addition, betanin is a derivative of the B-complex vitamin choline, which regulates inflammation specifically in the cardiovascular system. t w

left: paul johnson/istockphoto; right: jelena veskovic/istockphoto

➺ From the same plant family as chard and spinach, beets have not only been eaten as food but also have



We would like to acknowledge the following people for their contributions to this edition. We would also like to make special mention of the following UCLA physicians, professors and faculty members who donated their time and expertise to ensuring the accuracy of content published in the following articles:

â?§ q&a

Elisa Terry, NSCA-CSCS FITWELL Services Program Director, UCLA Recreation

bench-press for beginners: your guide to strength training Elisa Terry, NSCA-CSCS FITWELL Services Program Director, UCLA Recreation

your get active guide: preparing for any exercise obstacle Elisa Terry, NSCA-CSCS FITWELL Services Program Director, UCLA Recreation

listening to your body: the ins and outs of biofeedback

Alona Zerlin, MS, RD, Research Dietition, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition

protein sources: options to boost your health

Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, Assistant Director, UCLA Center for Human Nurition

sidelined: common sports injuries and how to prevent them


Suzie Lee, PhD, FNP, LAc, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Nurse Practitioner Fellow

Suzie Lee, PhD, FNP, LAc, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Nurse Practitioner Fellow

oil origins

Eve Lahijani, MS, RD, Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center

better butter?

Eve Lahijani, MS, RD, Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center

copy-edits and review Leigh Goodrich and Shannon Wongvibulsin

layout revisions

Karin Yuen, Amorette Jeng, and Shannon Wongvibulsin

cover & table of contents

Designed by Amorette Jeng and Karin Yuen

food pick

Eve Lahijani, MS, RD, Nutrition Health Educator, UCLA Bruin Resource Center


total wellness â–Ş spring 2012

Robert A. Pedowitz, MD, PhD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

personalized nutrition

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Discover Your Inner Athlete  

Spring 2012. Issue 3, Volume 12. Published by UCLA's Student Wellness Commission.

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