VeeFitness

Bringing you the latest in health and fitness


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Raspberry Mango Smoothie


A sweet smoothie for breakfast or dessert.

Preparation: 5 minutes

Serves: 1

Energy: 297 calories

Ingredients:

– 3 oz fat free vanilla yoghurt

– 1 cup frozen mango

– 1 cup frozen red raspberries

– ½ cup pulp free orange juice

– ½ cup milk

Method:

1)      Put all the ingredients in a blender. Add some ice if you like you smoothie a little thicker.

2)      Blend together for about 45 seconds, or until it reaches preferred consistency.

Add a little umbrella and enjoy.


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Reducing Sugary Drink Intake Lowers Blood Pressure


Over consumption of high sugar soft drinks may cause obesity, insulin resistance and high blood pressure. A study from the Louisiana State University Health Science Centre found that overweight people who drank one less high sugar beverage per day during an 18 month period showed a drop in systolic and diastolic pressure of nearly 2mmHg. Researchers speculated that cutting out two drinks per day might have an even greater effect. Scientists disagree on the negative health effects of consuming high sugar beverages.


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Oriental Green Beans


Fresh green beans with a taste of soy sauce and garlic.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Serves: 6

Energy: 64 calories per serving

Ingredients:

– 1 tbsp sesame oil (or olive oil)

– 1 ½ lbs green beans, fresh, trimmed

– 6 cloves garlic, minced

– 3 tbsps soy sauce

– 1 packet sugar substitute

Method:

1)      In a large pot of rapidly boiling water, cook green beans until just tender, 4-5 minutes.

2)      While the beans are cooking, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, oil and sugar subsititute and set aside.

3)      Drain beans and set aside.

4)      Spray wok or 10” skillet with non-stick cooking spray, place over medium-high heat. Add garlic, cook, stirring constantly, until well coated, about 2 minutes.

5)      Add soy sauce mixture, continue to stir and turn until most of the liquid is absorbed, 1-2 minutes.


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Free Radicals


The unstable atoms or molecules known as free radicals are produced by the body as a consequence of its normal metabolism, and as part of its natural defence against disease. Sometimes, however, the body over-produces free radicals which may cause serious damage to delicate cellular structures, resulting in inflammation and also the oxidation of blood cholesterol which is then deposited on arterial walls. This situation can be worsened by smoking, a high intake of pesticides, smog, over-exposure to ultraviolet light and even intensive exercise.

Free radicals contain at least one unpaired electron (or negative charge), making them highly reactive. As soon as they are produced, they search for molecules with which they can react, this reaction is called oxidation. Free radicals can oxidise, and so damage DNA and cell membranes, opening the way for cancers and diseases to develop. They are linked to the appearance of brown patches on the skin of elderly people. But although free radicals have been associated with aging, cancer, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and immune deficiency, their role in the development of these conditions is still being researched.

However, it is generally believed that if free radicals reach and attack the DNA in the nucleus of a cell, the cell mutation which can result may cause cancer. It has also been observed that when cholesterol is oxidised by free radicals it is more damaging to the artery that ‘native’ cholesterol, so implicating free radicals in the development of heart disease.

The body has defence mechanisms against free radicals, antioxidant enzymes and nutrients in it cells serve to ‘mop up’ free radicals and render them harmless. Protective nutrients include, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium (which help to make up protective antioxidant enzymes) as well as vitamin A, C and E. Other plant substances also provide protection against free radical damage; these include beta carotene and bioflavonoids.


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Poor Sleep Patterns Promote Weight Gain


We live in a high-stress society in which most people do not get enough sleep. If you are one of those people, you could be paying for it with your health. Sleep deprivation is linked to obesity heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer. A 7 year Finnish study of nearly 9000 people, found people who developed sleep problems during the experiment gained more weight than those with normal sleep patterns. Trouble falling asleep, waking during the night, or trouble staying asleep increased the risk of weight gain by more than 50%. Night time snacking is common in overweight people with sleep disorders. The body produces powerful signalling chemicals during sleep deprivation that promote overeating. Chronically sleeping less than 6 hours per night is linked to obesity and type II diabetes.