Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Smart Snacking

Are your snacks nutritious pit stops or nutritional black holes of high fat? Learning how to snack smartly can not only improve your nutritional status, but help boost you up, calm you down, aid digestion and even combat cystitis and raised blood pressure.

COTTAGE CHEESEIt's not only a great snack food because it's low-calorie; it's also rich in the protein building block tryptophan, which is converted in the body into the mood enhancing chemical serotonin.

CRANBERRY JUICECranberries can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections, like cystitis. The equivalent of a glass a day of cranberry juice can help guard against infections, even in regular sufferers.

SOYA MILK YOGHURTProducts made from soya beans contain iso flavones, which appear to mimic oestrogen in our bodies. These reduce the effect of our own oestrogens, which seems to help relieve some symptoms of the menopause. Soya products also contain genistein, a compound which may repress growth of malignant cells of the breast and colon.

FORTIFIED CEREALSWith 23-30% of all women in the UK having absolutely no iron stores (we should have 50Orng stored away), breakfast cereals fortified with iron, such as All Bran, make excellent mid afternoon or evening snacks. One bowl of All Bran supplies 3.6mg of iron - that's a quarter of your day's requirement. Pour over some milk and you'll boost your calcium intake, too.

SEEDS AND NUTSIf you're out and about, it's easy to grab a small bag of sunflower seeds, nuts and raisins or even a sesame seed-based bar. All are bursting with essential fatty acids which are vital for the integrity of every cell wall throughout our entire body. Without sufficient essential fatty acids, cell walls become leaky. As far as our skin is concerned, this means dehydration which causes dry and flaky patches.

The avocado in guacamole is rich in vitamin E, the tomatoes contain lycopene, and the onions and garlic are rich in immune boosting sulphur compounds, including allicin. Guacamole can be served with celery sticks - the allicin in the garlic and the phthalides in the celery are both good for helping to reduce blood pressure.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bad Breath

5 things you didn’t know about
bad breath
1 Up to 38 million people in the UK -38 per cent of us-will suffer bad breath at some time.
2 Most of us aren't aware we have a problem because, contrary to popular belief, you can't tell by simply breathing into your hand. Running your finger over your teeth and then sniffing it is a much better way to check.
3 Unpleasant smelling breath is caused by sulphur compounds released by bacteria which build up on your tongue.When you clean your teeth, brush your tongue too, or buy a tongue cleaner from your chemist.
4 PMS can give you bad breath. Hormonal changes in the week before your period can affect the level of sulphur compounds in your mouth. Dehydration through illness. not drinking enough or dieting can also be to blame.
5 Mouthwash won't solve the problem, but will just disguise it. Even brushing your teeth will only remove the smell for a while. One cause of bad breath is lack saliva, so chewing gum can help, but persistent bad breath means vou could have an infection and need to see a dentist.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Good sleeping patterns

The amount of sleep we all need varies a lot.-Some of us need at least ten hours, while others still feel good on six or four. The key to this is the quality of our sleeping pattern, which consists of both deep and dreaming sleep. In deep sleep, growth hormones speed up the replacement of old cells - which is partly why we feel refreshed when we wake up. In dreaming sleep, extra blood flows to nerve cells in the brain, which keeps it active. Relaxation is the way to get better sleep - before you switch off your bedside light, try the following tips:

0 Have a warm, soothing bath.
0 Don't go to bed hungry. A rumbling tummy will keep you wide awake.
0 Don't drink coffee or tea after 6 p.m. Have a cup of herbal tea instead camomile is best because it's calming.