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Five Healthy Franks for National Hot Dog Day

Hot dogs might not measure up to most gourmet fare, but they are a big part of some of America’s favorite pastimes. National Hot Dog Day falls on July 23, which is conveniently right in the middle of baseball and summer grilling season.

While you often hear that hot dogs are nutritionally unsavory, there are a lot of lighter options out there for anyone who wants keep things on the healthier side.

Whether you’re buying beef, pork, turkey, chicken or veggie hot dogs, you should always pay attention to whether or not the hot dog has added nitrites or nitrates. Once digested, nitrites and nitrates can form compounds that have been known to cause cancer.  To make your hot dog meal healthier, you can serve it topped with fiber-rich sauerkraut, in a whole-wheat bun or alongside a full plate of brightly-colored fruits and vegetables.

However, if you want to avoid the nutritional trap of hot dogs entirely, you can look to five of our favorite healthier hot dogs to satisfy your cravings without an added helping of guilt.


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Beetroot Juice Found to Enhance Athletic Performance

Athletes may be caught juicing with a new performance enhancing product soon. But this product is legal and it really is juice. Recent studies have been conducted with competitive cyclists and a somewhat foreign ingredient called beetroot juice.

Athletes in these tests were given the beetroot juice before a time trial. Multiple distances were timed and the cyclists who drank the complete beetroot formula were found to be over 2.5% faster than they were without the juice.

Beetroot juice is a natural source of nitrate. The nitrate ingredient is what is believed to be causing the enhanced performance. Nitrate widens blood vessels which lowers blood pressure and allows for more blood flow. Nitrate also reduces the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during activity. These two effects combined are the source for the improved performance of the cyclists in the research.

The cycling tests have surely sparked the interest of other athletes as well. If this natural and legal product can improve performance in one physical area, it seems plausible that it can help improve the performance of other activities as well. When dealing with sports, where seconds can mean the difference between second place or champion, beetroot juice may soon needs its own sports agent.


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