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17 Ways To Boost Energy Today!
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Bad Habits That Are Better Than You Think
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Contents September 2018
6 17 Ways To Boost
4 stop Press The very latest health news
8 Keep Your Holiday
High How to hold on to the feel-good factor 12 The Vitamin D Diet Supplement the sunshine and lose up to 7lb in just five days 14 understanding Inflammation What causes it and how to reduce it 18 Walk This Way Discover Britain’s long-distance trails 24 It Worked for us! Three readers on how they cured their health problems 26 7 superfood Power Couples Clever combos to maximise the nutrients your body needs 30 Meet The swimming Vicar How a determined minister found a new lease of life in the water after challenging injuries 36 a Great Place To... Enjoy super cycling and woodland walks
Your Energy Today 10 Julie Walters ‘The Good News About My Menopause’ 16, 35 & 58 Anti-Ageing Tricks That Work 20, 38, 52 & 62 20 Healthy Meal Ideas 29 Chronic Pain? Natural Fixes To Try 32 Bad habits that are better than you think 34, 46 & 49 Embarrassing Ailments Sorted! 44 Tone Your Legs, Bum & Tum In 5 Minutes A Day!
CovER pHoTo: REx
43 It’s My Hormones!
How the pituitary gland controls so much 50 What Do They Do? Natural health professionals explain their work 57 are You Drinking Too Much? The signs, the risks, and how to get help 60 Is Technology Making You Ill? The simple things you can do to make your digital life healthier
WOMAN’S WEEKLY HEALTHY LIVING, TI Media Limited, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. Telephone 020 3148 5000. ISSN 2042 3950. Back issues 01733 688964. Unless otherwise stated, all competitions, free samplings, discounts and offers are only available to readers in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland. Pre-press by Rhapsody Media. Printed by Wyndeham. WOMAN’S WEEKLY is a registered trademark of TI Media Limited and is sold subject to the following conditions, namely that it shall not, without the written consent of the publishers first given, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise disposed of by way of trade at more than the recommended selling price shown on the cover, and that it shall not be lent, resold or hired or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any unauthorised cover by way of trade or affixed to or as part of any publication or advertising, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. © TI Media Limited, 2018. We work hard to achieve the highest standards of editorial content, and we are committed to complying with the Editors’ Code of Practice (https://www.ipso.co.uk/IPSO/cop.html) as enforced by IPSO. If you have a complaint about our editorial content, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Complaints Manager, TI Media Limited Legal Department, 161 Marsh Wall, London E14 9AP. Please provide details of the material you are complaining about and explain your complaint by reference to the Editors’ Code. We will endeavour to acknowledge your complaint within five working days and we aim to correct substantial errors as soon as possible.
ed up with being told you need to ditch all the good stuff to keep healthy? Well, it seems that some of our weaknesses might not be as bad for us as we think. Check out our feature on page 32 to find out how to get smart about your ‘bad’ habits so you can enjoy a little of what you fancy without harming your health. Bring on my glass of Rioja and bar of Green & Black’s... Hope you enjoy this issue. s
Tanya Pearey, WW Health Expert ✤ Specials Content Director Charlotte Richards ✤ Health Editor Tanya Pearey ✤ Art Editor Christine Beadle ✤ Food Writer Jessica Findlay ✤ Head of Marketing Mary Bird
66 feeling Breathless
What it might mean, and what you can do about it
20 Meat-free Marvels Reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure with tasty, plant-based dishes 38 Better Breakfasts Have a healthy and delicious kick-start to the day 52 5 Ways With Tomatoes Get even more out of this favourite ingredient with numerous health benefits
62 fabulous fish By far
the best way to get those heart-healthy omega-3s
The latest news in the world of wellbeing
Day This month it ’s… Cycle to Work But you don’t have to commute to gain the health benefits of some pedal power. Cycling is a low-impact way to improve your fitness, without putting pressure on your joints.
Regular cycling can: ✱ Boost mental wellbeing ✱ Build muscle ✱ Improve sleep ✱ Strengthen lungs ✱ Protect your joints ✱ Cut your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes ✱ Help you maintain a healthy weight And… it can save you money and time – and help save the planet by cutting car use. What’s not to like?!
For cardiovascular fitness, cycle at a moderate pace for at least 30 minutes,
five days a week. For short journeys, any good, working bike will be fine. If you’re buying a secondhand bike, consider having it serviced at a bike shop to make sure it’s roadworthy. When buying new, bike shops can advise you on the best frame size and bike type for you. The most popular are road and mountain bikes – and hybrids, which are basically a mix of the two. Practice in a safe environment if you’re a bit wobbly to begin with. You don’t have to wear a helmet by law although of course it’s a good idea to buy – and use – one. Make sure you’re familiar with the Highway Code when out on the roads and always keep alert and aware of your route.
Is it dangerous?
No, not really. Of course there are hazards in riding on the UK’s roads but research and statistics show that the health benefits of cycling far outweigh any risks. You’re more likely to injure yourself during an hour’s gardening than an hour on your bike. ✤ Cycle to Work Day is 15 August – for more information visit cycletoworkday. org. For details about cycling groups and routes, see cyclinguk.org or call 01483 238301.
New reads for you... ✱ Reboot Your Health (£12.99, Hay House) A great DIY manual for your body. Sara Davenport’s book gives the rundown on each area of your body, chapter by chapter, with practical advice and at-home tests you can do quickly and easily, plus tips on understanding the ones you’ll need to go to a health professional for.
4 WW Healthy Living
✱ The Art of Herbs For Health (£9.99, Kyle Books( All you need to know about using herbs as natural home remedies or to simply add flavour and fragrance to your life. Author Rebecca Sullivan shares kitchen cupboard fixes from a cool black tea soak for smelly feet to ginger-infused ice cubes for travel sickness.
✱ How To Sleep Well (£10.99, Capstone Books) Desperate to sleep better? Slumber guru Dr Neil Stanley takes you through what sleep is and why it’s important. Then he helps you identify what’s disrupting your shuteye and what to do about it – including 303 things you shouldn’t bother trying but which have been recommended in the past!
My Healthy Life ✱ Dr Marcela Sanchez, Cosmetic Dentist and Facial Aesthetics practitioner at London’s Stonehealth Clinic (stonehealthclinic.co.uk) reveals how she boosts her health and wellbeing. My ‘go-to’ remedy Lavender. I started using it for its sedative effect to help me fight insomnia, but then discovered it’s great to help heal wounds and bug bites due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
3 Ways To… make life easier with arthritis 1
Get the most out of your toothpaste Use a paper clip to pinch the end of your toothpaste tube to squeeze it up and out. By wrapping the clip around the tube you no longer need to apply the same pressure with your fingers. Open stiff jars Instead of struggling to open tight jars, wrap rubber bands around the lid to make opening them easier and reduce the pressure on your wrists. Cope with ring pulls Ring pulls on food and drinks tins can be tough on the fingers so try a teaspoon under the ring to lever them open.
✱ Find more tips at Little Wins, a new patient-led Facebook campaign (facebook.com/littlewins) created by pharmaceutical company Janssen. It aims to help people with arthritis share tips to overcome their daily challenges.
My favourite meal One of my favourite dishes is tuna steak with avocado and mango salsa with quinoa. All the elements in this dish are delicious and full of nutrients: Omega-3s to reduce risk of heart disease, folic acid for healthy red blood cells and improving brain health and memory, and antioxidants to protect against colon and breast cancer. It’s also super-easy to make.
WORDS: TANYA PEAREY. PHOTOS: gETTY
How I keep fit and healthy Sometimes it’s yoga in the morning, or a gym session in the evening. I love cycling and I’ve also taken part in charity runs. For me, it’s all about having fun so it doesn’t feel like exercise.
My perfect day At work, it would be having the chance to make someone happy and improve their confidence. Off work, I am a beach girl. All I need is sand, sun and sea and I am in paradise. If you add a good book to the mix, even better!
If you usually… buy sunglasses for the look Try this instead… seek out shades with good UV protection. Eyes are around ten times more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays than your skin so your sunglasses should provide 100% UV protection – look for the letters CE (which stand for European Conformity) on the right inside arm. ‘UV damage causes cataracts as well as cancer,’ says optometrist Sona Thakerar, ‘so it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun with glasses. The darker the tint, the greater the protection. Transition glasses, which darken according to sunlight strength, are good.’
It’s a way of enjoying chocolate and salted caramel without the guilt! These tasty all-natural Atkins Harvest Bars are high in protein and fibre and low in sugar and carbs, making them the perfect on-the-go snack. Choose from Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel or Mixed Nuts & Chocolate, or Apricot, Almond & Coconut. Available at Tesco and Sainsbury’s, £1.85 for a 40g bar.
A great exercise to… keep yourself fit and strong Star jumps They’re a great way to strengthen bones, get your heart pumping and the blood flowing. Simply stand with feet together and arms by your sides. Bend your knees and jump, moving your feet apart and raising your arms above your head. Jump back to the middle, returning your arms to your sides. Do 10 jumps, twice a day. Increase the intensity: by doing star jumps in one swift movement, returning to your starting position without planting your feet on the floor in the middle of the move. Slow things down: by taking a 10-second breather in the middle of your two-step move.
WW Healthy Living 5
e g r a h c r e p Su
Your energy Levels
Has your get-and-go got up and gone? Well, here’s how to keep firing on all cylinders!
Wake Your Body
Before showering, dry-brush skin to boost circulation, says Janey Lee Grace, natural health expert (imperfectlynatural. com). ‘Work in small, circular movements up from your feet, using enough pressure so that it tingles.’ Then use an invigorating shower wash to stimulate your senses. TRY M&S Ragdale Hall Spa Time to... Pamper Skin Drenching Body Wash, £5, with reviving extracts of watermint and tea.
TRY 5555 BREaTHING Take five breaths
Boost Your Breakfast
Forget cereal and toast and think eggs (the best source of energy-boosting protein, according to the american Heart association), or oats. Prepare porridge oats the night before with different toppings – cranberry and pomegranate, or apple and cinnamon. or layer up with Greek yogurt and frozen berries for a filling, nutritious brekkie.
Try a 30-second blast of cold water at the end of your shower to boost your circulation. Or soak a flannel in icy water and place it over your face and the back of your neck. This not only quickly rejuvenates your facial muscles and eyes but temporarily activates your body’s fight-orflight reaction.
6 WW Healthy Living
– count five breaths in and five breaths out, five times a day – on waking, before meals and before bed. Dr Mark Hyman, author of The UltraMind Solution (£11.99, Scribner) says, ‘Energy depletion often comes from chronic stress, which depletes energy-giving vitamins, minerals and hormones. This instantly resets the nervous system, creating a sense of calm.’
a power walk fights fatigue. according to one study, women who walked briskly for 10 minutes a day had 18% more energy than their sedentary peers. You’ll also get a dose of vitamin D, low levels of which can leave you feeling tired.
Look lively... SEE RED A recent study found that looking at
TakE GINSENG N
the colour red boosted muscle speed and force – in the short-term. red enhances our physical reactions because it is seen as a danger cue. ‘Wearing clothes in vivid colours, like cherry red or cobalt blue, instantly make you feel brighter and more energised,’ says stress management expert Professor Cary Cooper.
Get Marching Sniff For Energy
‘Smell affects us deeply and emotionally,’ says Dr Hyla Cass. That’s because smells are carried directly to the limbic system, which acts like a kind of emotional switchboard for the brain. ‘Fragrances can reduce stress and depression, relax or invigorate you. You can burn essential oils in a burner or mix them with a carrier oil such as almond, and use as a massage or bath oil.’ TRY Eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, patchouli or clove for an instant energy boost. or light a candle: TRY Beatha candle (£35, solascandles.com).
Stand up and march on the spot to a count of 100 to get blood flowing. If you’re fairly fit: Jog on the spot for 20 seconds, then march for 10 – repeat this eight times.
STRIkE a PoSE ‘Correcting your posture can help get more oxygen into your body,’ says physiotherapist Sammy Margo. ‘Sit tall as if you have a string coming from the top of your head down to your tailbone, with your stomach muscles pulled in and ribcage lifted. Breathe down into your ribcage to allow for a full intake of oxygen and keep your legs uncrossed for good circulation.’ Try taking five minutes every few hours to do this.
DRINk WaTER Nothing drains your energy like dehydration, but when you’re busy it’s easy to forget to drink. Don’t reach for an energy drink; while it gives you a short-term boost, scientists at the Sleep research Centre in Loughborough found that, an hour later, testers had slower reactions acctio on aand lapses es in concentration. en ration.
Put The Pressure On
Boost your vitality with this move from British acupuncture Council member Rhiannon Griffiths: ‘Place your right hand on your right kneecap; where your ring finger lays is where the acupressure point sits. This should be situated on the outer side of the leg and you should notice a slight dip that your finger sits in, where the bone starts to curve outward. Press your finger firmly into this dip for one minute.’
Go GREEN Washington
State University scientists found that people who worked with a house plant in n their line of vision could cconcentrate more and carry out tasks tas s 12% faster. Plants absorb carbon ca bon dioxide that can trigger ffatigue, ti ue and a tend to make people feel e more positive and energised.
Having too many things in your life is mentally overwhelming and distracting. If your surroundings are tidy and organised you’ll see a rise in your energy levels.
It’s been used in China for over 5,000 years as a cure for exhaustion. The active ingredients are ginsenosides, which work by stimulating the body’s reaction to stress, improving your stamina and concentration. Take Siberian Ginseng in a supplement form, suggests Alison Cullen, nutritional therapist for A.Vogel. ‘It mixes badly with caffeine, so have it instead of coffee.’ Try Pharmaton Vitality Capsules, £9.69, Boots.
This mineral is needed for breaking down glucose into energy, so low levels equals tiredness. The recommended daily intake is around 300 milligrams, so up your intake of bran, wholegrain foods, dried fruit, sweetcorn, mushrooms and unsalted nuts, like m almonds, a hazelnuts and cashews.
Peel An Orange
Empty your mind and focus on peeling and eating the fruit. an n orange has an energising colour and a revitalising scent – plus the natural fructose will give you a boost.
A And... Stretch!
Tight muscles can use up more energy. Whether you’re a yoga fan or simply taking five extra minutes in your day to relax, stretching regularly can help to reduce stress, improve flexibility and circulation by increasing blood supply to your muscles. WW Healthy Living 7
Keep Your H Don’t let the summer feel-good factor slip away. These habits are worth holding on to...
Even those who ‘never have time’ to read are likely to pick up a book on holiday, according to a survey by Booktrust – the UK’s largest reading charity. The survey found that those who read books regularly are, on average, happier and more satisfied with life. ✿ Try This: Join your local library to reserve the latest bestsellers for free. And put together a list of 10 books you’re keen to read so that when you finish one there’s another waiting for you.
takE a SiESta on holiday, it’s permissible to have a little snooze by the pool or in your room to escape the heat of the afternoon sun. A nap after lunch can reduce stress, help cardiovascular functions, and improve alertness and memory, according to a report from the Spanish Society of primary Care physicians (SEMERGEN). ✿ Try This: Shut your eyes for a maximum of 30 minutes in a comfortable armchair – not in bed, to avoid entering deep sleep. Set an alarm, just in case.
Prioritise Sex We have more sex in August than any other month
(closely followed by July and June), according to a poll by lovehoney.co.uk. that’s probably because on holiday we’re more relaxed and enjoy more romantic opportunities. Regular sex not only enhances your relationship but boosts your health, immunity and your mood! ✿ Try This: Shake up your usual routine. Just remember, spontaneity sometimes requires a bit of effort.
Eat rEal fooD
our european neighbours in france, italy and spain, tend to eat good-quality food and fresh, local, seasonal produce, which leaves them more satisfied and less likely to snack. ✿ Try This: eat cheese, yogurt and bread in moderation rather than low-fat/diet versions and include the cornerstones of the traditional Mediterranean diet – olive oil, nuts, fish, lean meat, vegetables and fresh fruit – rather than relying on packets and ready-meals. 8 WW Healthy Living
drink More water
If you went abroad, it’s likely that you quenched your thirst with bottled water before sipping cocktails. ‘Dehydration is one of the leading causes of lethargy,’ says nutritional therapist Naomi Mead. ‘And by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already partially dehydrated.’ ✿ Try This: Keep a water jug in the fridge; a bottle on your desk, and aim to drink a glass of water whenever you fill the kettle for a cuppa.
Our annual vacation is a chance to switch off from the daily bombardment of texts, emails and social media. ✿ Try This: Get into the habit of switching off your phone in the evenings – at the very least, your emails. Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist and author of The Organized Mind (£9.99, Penguin) recommends checking emails just two or three times a day, rather than as they come in. Just spotting an email mid-task is enough to reduce your IQ by 10 points as your mind wanders from a task in hand.
Ditch the Car
Chances are you walked, hopped on the bus or hired a bike on your summer break. So, get out of the habit of using the car for short journeys at home. Research shows the benefits of walking for just 20 minutes a day are equal to not smoking – reducing heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes risk as well as those for several cancers. ✿ Try This: Be more active in general. Standing for three hours a day is as good for you as running 10 marathons a year, claims Dr Mike Loosemore, Lead Consultant in Exercise Medicine at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and health.
oliday High from battered cod on Brighton pier to grilled sardines on a Portuguese beach, nothing says summer like a fab fish dish – and for good health we should aim for at least two portions from a wide variety of species every week. ✿ Try This: choose wildcaught over farm-raised fish as this normally contains a higher concentration of omega-3s and the lowest content of toxins, visit nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/ fish-and-shellfish-nutrition for more information.
Create a feel-good Playlist
Every summer there’s an upbeat tune that sums up the year – whenever you hear it you’ll be transported back to your holiday. ✿ Try This: put songs that remind you of all your best memories in a playlist. pop it on and feel your mood lift when you’re feeling down.
dine aT The TaBle Whether breakfasting from the hotel buffet or dining al fresco at a waterfront restaurant, you will have sat at a table to enjoy the local cuisine. ‘This means you have an awareness of how much you consume and aren’t eating under stress,’ explains Christianne Wolff, author of The Body Rescue Plan (thebodyrescueplan.com) In fact, a study found that children who eat at the table with their families at mealtimes are up to 40% less likely to be overweight. ✿ Try This: Make mealtimes a family affair – a time to catch up on news and spend time together. Take your time, pause between mouthfuls and savour the flavours and textures of the food.
on holiday, there’s time to appreciate life. Feeling grateful – whether it’s big stuff (having healthy children or great friends) or smaller-scale (a cool drink on a sunny day) – boosts feelings of contentment and optimism, say psychologists. ✿ Try This: Studies show it’s easier to stick to a new habit if you link it to something you already do regularly. So when you brush your teeth at night, ask yourself, ‘What’s good in my life today? What went well?’
clear The clutter
One of the reasons we feel free on holiday is because we have a limited number of possessions around us. Research from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that too much clutter makes it hard to focus, as we’re easily distracted. ✿ Try This: Do any task that can be done in under a minute: Hang up your coat, skim-read and toss a letter, wipe down a work surface... And remember these wise words: ‘If in doubt, throw it out’ and ‘If it’s not beautiful or useful, get rid of it.’
Eat morE fiSh
turn off thE tV
on holiday you’re too busy eating, drinking, chatting and having fun to bother with the gogglebox. watching too much television is bad for your brain – increasing your risk of cognitive impairment by 20% – warns dr Mike dow, psychotherapist and author of The Brain Try new fruiT and veg Holidays are the perfect opportunity Fog Fix (£12.99, hay house). to try new foods and who can resist an exotic fruit platter when all the hard Try This: Make the conscious effort ✿ work of peeling, chopping and arranging is done for you? not to slip back into a passive Tv ✿ Try This: Think seasonal – and colourful, says Vicky Pennington, registered routine. decide what you really want dietitian and Boots nutritionist. You’ll get maximum nutrients and antioxidants to watch and switch off afterwards. without paying over the odds for produce that’s flown across the globe. WW Healthy Living 9
‘I’ve Got So Much More Energy Now!’ National treasure Julie Walters on overcoming the menopause and why she’s embraced life in her 60s personal life – from her happy marriage to husband of over 20 years, Grant Roffey, to why she has chosen not to go under the knife for cosmetic surgery. But the 68-year-old actress struck a particular chord with women up and down the country when she detailed her experiences of going through the menopause– a 10-year journey that understandably presented lots of challenges for the star. Opening up about starting the menopause when she reached the milestone age of 50, Julie has described having up to 15 hot flushes a night. Recalling the trouble it caused she said, ‘The worst aspects for me were the hot flushes and not being able to sleep – my sleep has always been a bit fragile but it was very bad through that time and trying to work at the same time.’ In addition to this Julie also noticed that one of the earliest symptoms she experienced was an ability to sleep if she’d drunk
alcohol – and, as a result, she still only drinks on very rare occasions. The mum-of-one has also detailed how hot flushes affected her hugely while she was filming for high-profile jobs, including the Harry Potter film franchise in which she played Molly Weasley. She previously recalled, ‘It was like a chimney and came from the base of my spine. I was doing this TV called Murder, and every take there’d be, “Stop! She’s having a flush!” At the National [Theatre, on London’s South Bank], I’d come off stage for a quick change and have to shout, “Garth, the tray!” And this guy would come with this big tin tray and fan me.’ ‘Harry Potter, I was in a wig and padding, and they had to put this big tube of air conditioning in my face,’ she continued. Fortunately, though, the Educating Rita star is now out the other side of ‘the change’ and believes that the experience eventually
‘I have to learn things ahead of time now, which I’ve never had to do in my life’
Julie and Grant got married in 1997
In her new film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
turned out to be a blessing. Explaining that she tackled the symptoms by making changes to her diet and cutting down on certain types of food – including sugar, red meat and carbohydrates – she later revealed, ‘If you deal with it in a healthy fashion then I think you come out the other side a better person. I’ve got so much more energy now than I ever had in my early 50s before the menopause.’ However, she’s also had to contend with the numerous other side effects of growing
words: rianne ison. Photos: Pa images, rex, alamy
he’s the queen of both the small and big screen, currently starring in the hit film sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. But her undeniable acting talent – which saw her earn a well-deserved damehood last year – isn’t the only reason Julie Walters has endeared herself to so many people. For, down-to-earth Julie is also refreshingly frank and open when it comes to discussing aspects of her
Celebrity health Powerful message Julie has also been incredibly open about the different health scares she has encountered along the way – particularly a breast cancer scare in 2015, which left her fearing the worst. Recalling the incident, which fortunately turned out to be nothing more than a blocked duct, Calendar Girls actress Julie explained, ‘I had a bit of a pain in my breast and I was like, “Oh my God, here we go”. I went to get it checked out but it wasn’t anything sinister.’ ‘The doctors said I should have a mammogram anyway. I hadn’t had one in about 30 years and I thought, “It’s my fault because I haven’t checked anything”,’ she added. Later, the star – who originally trained and worked as a nurse – urged other women to be vigilant and check themselves for changes.
With her Calendar Girls co-stars
older, including her memory deteriorating, which she says has affected her ability to learn lines. She explained, ‘I have to learn things ahead of time now, which I’ve never had to do in my life. The night before, I’d just have a look and lie in the bath and think, “Oh yes, right”. The next day I’d hardly look at the lines, and they’d be there. ‘Now? I’m going through
them, going through them.’ But despite the various trials and tribulations she has faced over the last few years, Julie – who has also had her cataracts done and therefore no longer needs to wear glasses – is embracing growing older and taking each year as it comes. ‘I enjoy having a bus pass. I was thrilled when I first got to 60 – I went sightseeing in
London,’ she’s revealed. ‘I went to St Paul’s and bought my pensioner’s ticket. Then I went to the V&A and said, “Concession!” I love people knowing my age.’
As Mrs Weasley in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
VITAMIN D DIET V
itamin D is essential for our good health. A deficiency may increase our risk of diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, depression, autoimmune disorders, heart disease and certain cancers. And it may even stop us losing weight. ‘Latest research shows that vitamin D deficiency, can make you accumulate more fat,’ says nutritionist Shona Wilkinson,
Top up your vitamin D levels AND from Superfood lose 7lb in UK (superfood five days uk.com). ‘Vitamin D is crucial for effective fat burning. It also helps to control hunger and cravings.’ We get most of our vitamin D from sunshine on our bare skin but we can top up with food. ‘Typical UK weather, and working indoors, means that around one in five of us have low levels,’ says Shona.
STAYING TOPPED UP In the sun
You only need to expose your skin (arms, legs, shoulders) for 20-30 minutes on a bright sunny day to get the benefits. Cover up/wear sunscreen and a hat after this time to avoid sun damage.
Take a supplement
The current RDA is 10mcg (400iu) of vitamin D. But you can safely take up to 25mcg. Pregnant women, children under five, the over-65s and anyone with naturally dark skin (which absorbs less sunlight) should take a supplement. Choose D3, as it’s utilised more effectively than D2. Try: Solgar Vitamin D3, 1,000 iu, £9.99 for 100 softgels (solgaronline.co.uk).
Have a test
If you’re concerned that you may be deficient in vitamin D, consult your GP. You can also get a blood spot test for Vitamin D for £29 from vitamindtest.org.uk. This is a DIY test where results are analysed by a NHS vitamin D lab.
These include oily fish (salmon, fresh tuna, trout, mackerel, herring, pilchards), milk, eggs, mushrooms (shitake, portobello, maitake), wholegrain cereal, tofu and fortified foods – nut milks, yogurt, orange juice.
This plan incorporates ple of food rich in vitamin D, su nty ch eggs, mushrooms and oily fis as h
BREAKFAST: Muesli with cranberries
and milk (or nut milk such as almond). Mix 4tbsp oats, ½tbsp pumpkin seeds, ½tbsp chia seeds, ½tbsp sunflower seeds, ½tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, ½tbsp flaked almonds, 1tbsp cranberries. Add milk. LUNCH: Summer salad with sardines. Mix salad leaves, cucumber, tomato, peppers, red onion and black olives. Add can of sardines. Drizzle with olive oil, red wine vinegar and black pepper. DINNER: Pasta with shitake mushrooms. Stir fry 300g chopped shitake mushrooms in hot olive oil with garlic, chilli and ginger. Mix with a portion of cooked pasta. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese, black pepper and parsley.
BREAKFAST: Red pepper and goat’s
cheese frittata. Flash-fry chopped red peppers and onion with olive oil. Whisk 2 eggs in bowl, with salt and pepper. Pour over the pepper and onion. Sprinkle with crumbled goat’s cheese. LUNCH: Salad Nicoise. Mix salad leaves, tomatoes, new potatoes, green beans and cucumber with small can of tuna and sliced boiled egg. Add vinaigrette. DINNER: Spicy salmon with spinach and brown rice. Bake salmon marinaded with chilli, coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper mix. Serve with spinach and brown rice.
BREAKFAST: Small pot natural live yogurt BR
with blueberries, nuts, seeds and mint leaves. LUNCH: Grilled portobello mushroom with halloumi cheese. Grill portobello mushroom halves, topped with sliced halloumi. Serve in wholemeal pitta bread with chopped red onion and lettuce. DINNER: Tuna steak with green vegetables and sweet potato wedges. Coat tuna with honey, soy sauce and olive oil. Pan fry and serve with vegetables and baked sweet potato wedges.
BREAKFAST: Poached egg with a good handful of wilted spinach.
LUNCH: Tofu and vegetable stir fry.
Stir-fry chopped tofu and vegetables (such as green beans and carrots) in olive oil, with chilli, garlic and ginger. DINNER: Pork chops with mushroom sauce and vegetables. Grill 2 small chops. Make sauce with 1tbsp cream, 3tbsp white wine, ½tbsp olive oil, herbs and vegetable stock. Serve with carrots, broccoli, sweetcorn, etc.
BREAKFAST: 1tbsp cottage cheese with chives on slice of rye bread.
LUNCH: Seafood salad with papaya. Mix
prawns, mussels, shrimps with salad leaves, spring onions, green peppers, cucumber and sliced papaya. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. DINNER: Grilled fish with vegetables: Grill fish (such as trout, salmon, fresh mackerel or herring). Serve with selection of vegetables.
DRINKS & SNACKS
l Herbal teas l Hot water and lemon l Mineral water l Avoid tea and coffee l 5–6 unsalted almonds l Boiled egg (when you don’t have egg for breakfast) l 3tbsp cottage cheese l Apple l Raw vegetables
PhoToS: AlAMy, GeTTy
Your Five-Day Plan
Understanding It’s one of the latest buzzwords in medical and health circles – but what causes inflammation and is there anything we can do to reduce it?
nflammation is a natural and life-supporting healing response that occurs when the body reacts to an injury or illness. It’s what you feel when a scratch becomes swollen or your temperature rises. However, problems arise when inflammation becomes chronic, such as for those who develop autoimmune diseases (when their immune system attacks parts of the body, causing chronic inflammation). Some researchers have claimed inflammation in the body may even cause the onset or escalation of conditions such as depression, memory loss and some cancers. While it’s essential to take prescribed medication for any condition, there are natural ways that may ease the pain of inflammation and could even reduce your chances of developing some conditions.
What is inflammation?
Anisur Rahman, Professor of Rheumatology at University College London (UCL), explains, ‘Inflammation is actually a good thing; it’s the way in which our body deals with threats such as infection. ‘If you were to put the inflamed area under a microscope you would find lots of white blood cells which are part of the body’s immune system, some of which may release chemicals such as antibodies; others act in a physical way by engulfing foreign bacteria and destroying them.’ But while there’s a purpose to acute inflammation, such as when it’s directed against a burn, chronic inflammation is when it never settles down.
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‘There are certain diseases which are characterised by chronic inflammation,’ says Professor Rahman, ‘In many of these diseases the problem is that the immune system has gone rogue – it’s become overactive, so some part of the immune system has been switched on all the time, even when it shouldn’t be. ‘Some of these diseases are called autoimmune diseases which means the immune system is reacting to your own body, for example, in diabetes when the immune system reacts against your pancreas. ‘It’s important to note that autoimmune diseases are not common and it’s essential to take medication prescribed by your doctor.’
Can it cause disease?
While it’s generally understood that diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis cause inflammation and not vice versa, some studies have claimed that inflammation itself may be linked to the onset of some health conditions, such as depression, memory loss and even some cancers. Scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia showed that rats fed a diet high in fat and sugar suffered inflammation of the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in forming and storing memories. Meanwhile, obesity is thought to be a cause of inflammation, which has been associated with an increased risk for a variety of cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Other researchers claim inflammation may be a trigger for depression.
Foods you should eat While it’s essential to take medication prescribed for health complaints, many experts believe making changes to your diet can have an impact on the level of inflammation in your body. Nutritionist Kate Knowler (the-london-nutritionist. co.uk) explains...
Ginger contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds known as gingerols which work to reduce swelling and inflammation in the joints. Add grated fresh ginger as a garnish to a rice dish with some sesame seeds, or enjoy it as a tea with hot water and a slice of lemon.
omega-3 fats have proven anti-inflammatory benefits, while omega-6 are known to be pro-inflammatory. Historically, our intake of omega-3s and omega-6s was almost 1:1, but modern diets often feature high levels of omega-6, eg, in fried food, and low levels of omega-3. increasing fish intake, particularly salmon, mackerel, sardines or fresh anchovies, and cutting g
down on fried foods and processed red meats can help address this imbalance and reduce inflammation.
curcumin, found in turmeric, makes this another potent anti-inflammatory spice that can be added to rice dishes, stir-fries, curries, or lentils. Absorption of curcumin is
improved when n combined with a little black pepper and fat in a recipe.
Homemade stock, cooked for up to 24 hours, is a rich source of minerals in a form that is easy for your body to absorb. The long cooking process releases chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine, plus collagen, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.
BuT Try To Avoid... SuGAr
consumption of sugar triggers a release of inflammatory cytokines in the body. Sugar is found in so many everyday foods, from fruit juices to pasta sauces, that it can feel almost impossible to avoid it completely. Nevertheless, cutting back can make a difference to your energy levels, gut health, and any inflammation you may have.
Inflammation tio on What about supplements? FiSH oil According to Arthritis research uK, the most effective alternative supplement for rheumatoid arthritis is fish body oil, which can help control the immune system and fight joint inflammation, thus improving the symptoms of the condition.
GlucoSAmiNe SulpHATe it’s commonly taken for osteoarthritis but there’s little understanding on its effect on rheumatoid arthritis. professor rahman says, ‘There’s no scientific evidence that it helps, but it’s very safe to take and i have had patients who say it makes them feel
better and that they don’t have to take as many antiinflammatories when they use it.’
‘There’s no scientific evidence that glucosamine helps, but it’s safe to take’
Get moving A study of 4,000 people by ucl found 20 minutes’ moderate daily exercise reduced inflammation markers by 12%, regardless of the person’s Bmi or weight. professor rahman says, ‘if you have inflamed joints, you need h tto get proper medical treatment to get rid of that. if you don’t, they’ll become damaged and b things will get worse. ‘However, if you have h a joint which
‘If you have inflamed joints, you need to get proper medical treatment’
is painful or weak in any way, whether from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, it’s important to keep the muscles around that joint strong. This is where exercise can be very helpful, provided that it’s mild exercise which is to do with stretching and keeping supple and strong – for example, yoga.’ you can find out more about exercising to manage arthritis pain in different parts of the body at arthritisresearchuk.org.
Complementary therapies Arthritis research uK has ffunded the first long-term study into the effectiveness sst off Alexander technique and d acupuncture on people with arthritis, with results e suggesting that using either o could be beneficial for method people with arthritis and joint
pain, particularly those living with neck and back pain.
WeAriNG A copper BrAceleT
While there’s no scientific evidence to support the use of magnets or copper bracelets for joint pain, some people with rheumatoid arthritis report anecdotally that they find them to be useful for their pain relief.
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AlexANder TecHNique ANd AcupuNcTure
Up your iron levels
The most common trigger for hair loss can be iron deficiency. Iron in the body builds protein and because hair is mostly made up of protein, this is a key area of your diet for healthy, thicker locks. Make sure you up the iron in your diet by eating fruits and vegetables that are high in iron, such as dark leafy green veg like spinach, kale and broccoli. In addition, vitamin Crich foods like citrus fruits, kiwis, strawberries and peppers, can help increase absorption of iron into the body.
Inject some volume
Your Hair, But
! r e t t e B Hair changes with age, requiring a new approach. Make the most of your crowning glory with our expert tips
hether your hair is short or shoulderlength, curly, wavy or poker straight, what’s a given is that you’d probably love it to have a little more volume and a
Eat a healthy, balanced diet Our hair follicles are one of the last tissues in your body to receive nutrition, so certain dietary deficiencies can affect the hair. Ingredients such as essential fatty acids, iron, silica, biotin and zinc are important for hair growth
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bit more shine. As we get older, our hair growth cycle gradually diminishes, which can make you feel as if the hair you do have is sparser than it used to be. It’s so much easier to feel good about yourself when you’ve
and preventing brittle, unhealthy-looking hair. Worried your diet isn’t up to scratch? Then take a vitamin supplement like Viviscal Max Strength Supplement, £29.99 for a month’s supply, Boots. Proven to reduce hair loss, each tablet combines all the nutrients vital for a healthy head of hair.
got a thick, glossy head of hair to swish about and the good news is there’s lots you can do to help your tresses to look the best they can. Discover the best tips, tricks and products to keep yours looking fabulous...
Research has found that one in five UK women suffers hair loss at some point in their lives. This is usually due to lifestyle factors such as stress and poor diet. Hormonal imbalance and ill health can also affect your hair. You might notice many more hairs than usual coming out in your brush or when you shampoo your hair. Seek the help of an expert trichologist, a hair expert who can diagnose your specific problem and recommend a course of treatment. Find one through the Institute of Trichologists (trichologists.org.uk). But it’s also a good idea to invest in products that help boost the thickness and volume of your hair. John Frieda Luxurious Volume Core Restore Advanced Protein Volumiser, £6.64, Superdrug, forms temporary bonds when activated by your hairdryer, that help to swell each strand, giving the illusion of thicker hair.
the Best styles to Defy Ageing Jamie Lee Curtis
The pixie crop
A pixie cut highlights strong bone structure and shows off an elegant neck. Plus a classic, short style like this will help you look sassy and self-confident.
The Helen Mirren tousled bob
Make The Most Of Going Grey! Embrace your silver strands with these tips to keep them shiny and healthy...
Boost shine! Grey hair tends to be a lot more dehydrated than coloured hair, which means it can feel coarse and look wiry and dull. Keep it looking healthy and shiny by using argan oil-based products, which will help to soften and relax frizzy, wiry strands. Try switching from your usual shampoo to OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo, £6.99, Superdrug.
damage. So always protect strands before heat styling and use a UV filter spray if you’re out in the sun. Stop delicate strands getting damaged from exposure to sunlight with Wella Professionals Sun Protection Spray, £12, lookfantastic.com, a nongreasy, leave-in protector.
Invest in an amazing Get in the haircut Going grey is a bold statement tone zone and you need a style to match. Bold lines and a great shape will really give your hair impact, rather than just looking unloved. Book in every six weeks to keep your style looking sharp.
This slightly messy effect gives a modern, youthful look. Boost your roots with volumising styling spray before you blow-dry, then create a slight wave near the ends of your hair with a curling tong.
Grey hair can have the tendency to go brassy, just like blonde hair. Keep those strands silvery with a violet-coloured shampoo or toning treatment, which helps neutralise any yellow tones. We love Pro:voke Touch Of Silver Brightening Shampoo, £3.19, Superdrug.
Believe it or not, grey hair is much more fragile and delicate than hair that still has colour. It’s also more prone to sun
The 60s style
This short, layered cut with a choppy fringe and plenty of volume helps to balance facial features and create flattering symmetry.
Words: sArAh CooPer-WhiTe. PhoTos: GeTTy
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The Thames Path as it passes London’s Tower Bridge and City Hall
Crossing a still on the Hadrian’s Wall Path
Walk This Wa Gillian Thornton takes an independent hike along Britain’s long-distance trails
ritain is blessed with an outstanding choice of National Trails and longdistance footpaths, but none can rival the Thames Path for diversity. I’m standing on the southern bank beneath London’s Emirates Air Line cable car, the white dome of the O2 Arena behind me, and the Thames Barrier just visible in the distance. Journey’s end. Today I have walked through more than 1,000 years of history spanning the Tower of London to the Shard. I’ve passed architectural icons from Tower Bridge to the Gherkin and seen shipping as diverse as HMS Belfast
and the Cutty Sark. But I’ve also discovered the ruins of a 14th-century royal palace, dropped into some great historic pubs, and learnt about Edwardian philanthropists in the Bermondsey slums.
If you don’t want to tackle the whole trail, just home in on one section What a contrast to the early meanders of the Thames, 180-odd miles away in rural Gloucestershire, where the river winds past sleepy villages, through locks and under bridges before turning near Oxford towards Windsor,
ed as Britain’s The Pennine Way is regard through the Peak toughest route, passing the industrial District National Park and r Valley. Or try lde Ca revolution sites of the Coast to Coast all or part of the 192-mile Wainwright. Path in the steps of Alfred
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Greenwich and the City of London. And beside it, from the Cotswolds to the Thames Barrier, runs the Thames Path National Trail, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. It’s a far cry from the
National Trail I tackled last year through some of England’s wildest and most remote scenery. The Hadrian’s Wall Path runs for 84 miles beside England’s most famous piece of military engineering, built between AD122 and 128 to
defend the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. Between Newcastle upon Tyne and the Solway Firth, the wall is still dotted with the remains of mile castles and turrets, temples and forts – a living history trail guaranteed to captivate walkers, nature lovers and amateur historians alike.
Varying terrains But every one of Britain’s longdistance trails is different. The Cornish Coast Path, for instance, undulates over dramatic cliffs and past rocky coves, while the gentler Ridgeway follows an inland itinerary used by travellers, farmers and soldiers since prehistoric times. The Cotswold Way is an invitation to discover England’s picturebook stone villages, while Offa’s Dyke Path threads back and forth across the Welsh border past historic castles and along quiet canal paths. All National Trails are well signposted with an acorn symbol, so getting lost isn’t an option and of course you
Get up and go! Travel
Iffley Lock, Osxfordshire, on the Thames Path
y from Try the South Downs Wa el coast, ann Winchester to the Ch Coast path ar cul Cir the Ryde to Ryde the gentle or , ght Wi of Isle around the y and Wa s countryside of the Peddar il. Tra nal tio Norfolk Coast Path Na don’t have to walk an entire trail in one go. If you want to organise your own trip, you’ll find inspiration and advice in abundance at nationaltrail.co.uk (England and Wales) or at snh.gov.uk for Scotland. But if you’d rather let someone else plan the route and provide guidebooks, book the accommodation and transport your luggage, there’s another way to dip your boot-shod toe into our national trails.
Making it easier Several companies offer organised trips on the best-loved walking routes, handling all the boring bits. All you have to do is carry a daypack and follow a guidebook, while putting one foot in front of the other and
enjoying the h scenery. ry I spent a week walking beside Hadrian’s Wall, available through Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 818345, ramblersholidays.co.uk). The route starts just west of Heddon on the Wall and finishes 66 miles later at Bowness on the Solway Firth. The well-preserved sights of Chesters Roman Fort and Carlisle Castle are among the stop-offs en route. The company also offers a selection of other walking holidays in the UK, including the Malvern Hills and the eastern section of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast. If you don’t have the time – or the legs – to tackle an entire trail, just home in on one section. The full Thames Path, for instance, takes 13 days, but you can break it into more manageable chunks. You’ll find the route from Putney Bridge
Loved-up romantics F ed Fam d for its views of
wild birds and seals, the Pembrokeshire Coast Pat h takes in picturesque fishing villages , sandy beaches and rocky headlands . Or why not enjoy the breathtaking sce nery of the Scottish lochs on the Great Gle n Way?
to the Thames Barrier at the Ordance Survey’s Get Outside website (getoutside.ordnance survey.co.uk), as part of Britain’s favourite 100 walks. Living within easy reach of London, I already knew – or thought I knew – parts of the trail, but hugging the waterway for mile after mile with a comprehensive guidebook made me see this exciting city through the eyes of a local. Better still, no special weather or fitness is required for this level, surfaced path. Just remember that construction works alongside the Thames can mean changes to the route and some extra
walking, so plan plenty of time. Of course, all England’s long-distance trails are linear, which presents the question of getting home. Walking through the capital on the Thames Path offers plenty of public transport links to carry you back home. But for more rural locations some walkers choose to travel with two cars, leaving one at either end of their route. However, there is, of course, another option – you can walk back and experience the scenery in reverse!
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Photos: GEttY, ALAMY
Newgale Sands, seen from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Expansive Loch Oich, on the Great Glen Way
Meat-Free s l e v r a M
Lower your blood pressure and improve cholesterol with tasty veggie meals once or twice a week
Sage & Mozzarella Linguine ServeS 2 Q 1tbsp olive oil Q 2 Little Gem lettuces, quartered lengthways Q 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped Q A few sage leaves, plus extra to garnish Q ½ a lemon, thickly sliced Q 150ml (5fl oz) vegetable stock or white wine 20 WW Healthy Living
Q 100g (3½oz) dried linguine Q 90g (3oz) frozen peas, thawed Q 45g (1½oz) black olives Q 200g (7oz) mozzarella, torn
Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the lettuce wedges and brown for around 1 min on each at side. Set aside.
Add the garlic, sage, lemon and stock, or wine, to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Return the lettuce to the pan and cook for around 8-10 mins, until it’s tender. Bring a pan of water to the boil, then cook the linguine according to pack instructions. Drain and set aside.
Add the peas and black olives to the pan, along with the lettuce wedges, mix well and heat through. Stir in the linguine and mozzarella. Garnish with a few sage leaves and serve immediately. PER SERVING: 585 calories 32g fat (15.5g saturated fat) 42g carbohydrates
Vegetarian meals Beetroot Balls in a Spanish-Style Sauce ServeS 4 Q 400g (14oz) raw beetroot, trimmed and peeled Q 400g (14oz) sweet or waxy potatoes Q 400g can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried Q 3 garlic cloves, crushed Q A good pinch of chilli powder Q 2tbsp polenta Q 1tbsp sesame seeds Q 3tbsp sunflower oil Q 1 onion, thinly sliced Q 1 small carrot, finely chopped Q 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
Q 2 x 200g cartons passata Q 200ml (7fl oz) vegetable stock Q Âžtsp sweet smoked paprika Q Small handful of oregano leaves
Wearing clean rubber gloves, coarsely grate the beetroot, then squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Pierce the potatoes all over, then cook in the microwave on High for 6 mins, or until cooked through. Cool. Put the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and roughly
break up with the back of a fork. Scoop out potato flesh and add to the mix, along with the beetroot, garlic and chilli powder. Mix well with your hands, then shape into 16 balls. Mix the polenta and sesame seeds together, then roll the balls in this mixture, one at a time, and cover loosely with foil. Leave to firm up in the fridge for around 1 hr (or more if you like). Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for
4 mins, or until softened and browning. Add the carrot and red pepper, mix and cook for 2 mins more. Add the passata, stock, a pinch of sugar and the paprika. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 25 mins. Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Brown the beetroot balls, in batches, on all sides. Add to the sauce with the oregano.
PER SERVING: 390 calories, 14g fat (2g saturated fat), 49g carbohydrates
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Chickpea, Squash & Thyme Pie ServeS 6 Q 60g (2oz) butter Q 4 sheets filo pastry Q 2 shallots, peeled and sliced Q 350g (12oz) butternut squash flesh, sliced thinly Q 2tsp fresh thyme leaves Q 3tbsp dry sherry Q 300ml (½pt) single cream Q 2 eggs, beaten Q 200g (7oz) spinach Q 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed Q 30g (1oz) Parmesan cheese, grated Q 26cm (10½in) loose-based tart tin Heat the oven to 160°C or Gas Mark 3. Melt 30g (1oz) butter and brush a little over the base and sides of the tart tin. Top with 1 layer of filo and brush again. Repeat with the remaining layers to create an even crust. Fold the excess overhang inwards and brush with a little more melted butter. Cook in the
Compiled by JessiCa Findlay. photos: ti-mediaContent.Com
Miso Aubergine with Grain Salad ServeS 2 Q 1 large aubergine, halved Q 1tbsp miso paste Q ½tbsp honey Q ½tbsp sesame oil Q ½tbsp soy sauce Q 1 garlic clove, crushed For the Salad: Q 250g pack Merchant Gourmet Mixed Grains Q 100g (3½oz) frozen edamame beans Q ½ a bunch coriander, plus extra to serve For the dreSSinG: Q 1tbsp soy sauce Q 1tsp sesame oil Q 1tsp honey Q Juice of 1 lime to Serve: Q 2 spring onions, sliced Q 1 red chilli, finely sliced Heat oven to 180°C or Gas Mark 4. Score the aubergine
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in a diagonal checkerboard style. Combine the miso, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce and garlic, and brush over the aubergine. Roast for 30 mins, until golden and tender. Meanwhile, microwave the grains for 2 mins on High and cook the edamame for 5 mins in a pan of simmering water. When cooked, combine the grains and edamame in a bowl. Stir through the coriander. Mix together dressing ingredients and stir through; season well to taste. To serve, divide the salad between 2 plates and top each with an aubergine half, plus spring onions, coriander and chilli.
PER SERVING: 457 calories, 18g fat (2.5g saturated fat), 49g carbohydrates
oven for 6 mins, until lightly golden; gently push down the centre if it rises. Heat the remaining butter in a large frying pan and cook the shallots for 3 mins. Add the squash and thyme, and continue cooking until the veg have softened slightly. Lightly beat the sherry, cream and eggs together in a jug, adding ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Microwave the spinach for 1 min. Allow to cool, then squeeze out any excess water. Tip the chickpeas into the tart case, then add the spinach, squash, thyme and shallots. Pour over the cream mixture, and bake for 20-25 mins, until just set. Sprinkle over the Parmesan.
4 5 6
PER SERVING: 390 calories, 21g fat (11g saturated fat), 26g carbohydrates
Vegetarian meals Lentil & Courgette Curry ServeS 4 Q 250g (8oz) brown lentils, rinsed Q 1ltr (1¾pt) vegetable stock Q 1 onion, thinly sliced Q 2tbsp vegetable oil Q 4 garlic cloves, crushed Q 4cm (1½in) piece of root ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks Q 1-2 green chillies, thinly sliced Q 60g (2oz) tomato purée Q 3 courgettes, sliced Q 1tsp garam masala Q 160ml can coconut cream
Q a handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped Q Steamed basmati rice, and coconut yogurt (optional), to serve Bring the lentils and vegetable stock to the boil in a pan, cover and simmer for 1 hr. Fry the onion in 1tbsp vegetable oil over a medium-low heat for 6 mins, or until starting to brown and becoming crispy.
them – for 10 mins, turning as needed until tender. Stir in the garam masala and coconut milk and cook for 10 mins more. To serve, top the curry with the courgettes and a sprinkling of coriander. Serve with basmati rice, and coconut yogurt and lime wedges on the side, if you like.
PER SERVING: 402 calories, 18g fat (12g saturated fat), 36g carbohydrates
Add the garlic, ginger matchsticks and chilli, and cook for another 2 mins. Once the lentils have been cooking for 30 mins, add most of the onion mixture (reserving a little to garnish), the tomato purée and a good pinch of salt to the pan. Keep simmering for the next 20 mins of cooking time or until tender. Heat the remaining oil and pan-fry the courgettes – or brush with oil and griddle
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It Worked For Three readers share how they cured their health problems
tearful, short of breath and have sweaty palms. I was a nervous wreck throughout each flight. I tried various ‘remedies’ – from alcohol to strong sedatives prescribed by my GP – but they weren’t a good solution. Things came to a head when I was three months pregnant with my first child, Olivia, and I needed to fly to New Zealand, where David was working at the time. I researched hypnosis after spotting an advert and, although sceptical, decided to give it a go. I imagined lying on a couch and being asked to follow a swinging watch with my eyes, but when I saw Aaron Surtees at City Hypnosis it was nothing like that. I sat in a comfortable chair and was taken through a few relaxation techniques. We then talked about my flying anxiety. I felt incredibly relaxed but secretly assumed that the hypnosis was having no effect. I had two further sessions.
Four days before the flight, I was excited and looking forward to seeing David. There was no dread or any of the usual thoughts of the plane falling out of the sky. At the airport, I sat reading a magazine – something I’d never done before. On the plane I was aware of reassuring myself – that the pilot was doing his job, that he was in control, that I was safe. And I was relaxed! I only needed one top-up session after my daughter was born as I then became anxious about her safety when flying. And I haven’t looked back. I still fly regularly for work and have family in America who I visit. My fear has totally gone.
‘I secretly assumed the hypnosis was having no effect’
‘I cured my fear of flying’ Sally Shaw, 38, lives in London with her partner David and their two daughters.
lthough my job is based in London, working in information technology means quite a bit of travel. And my fear of flying meant that it was a part of my life I came to dread… The anxiety started in my early 20s and snowballed. Days before a flight I’d become anxious, and by the time I boarded the plane I’d be
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✤ Sessions at City Hypnosis start at £195; downloadable MP3 treatments are available for £69.99. Visit cityhypnosis. com for details. Or, to find a hypnotherapist near you, see hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk.
‘Passionflower stopped my palpitations’ Michelle Johnson, 48, is a public relations consultant from Twickenham, where she lives with her husband Shaun and their two children.
’d been suffering heart palpitations – awareness of my heart beating fast – on and off for a few years, but was
Us! ‘Collagen slowed my hair loss’ Sarah Swann, 38, a graphic designer, lives with her partner, Dan, and their daughter, Ava, in Ladbroke Grove, West London:
fter giving birth to Ava my hair began to fall out. It was quite alarming to find loads of strands in my brush and clogging up my shower plug hole. I’d always taken my thick, glossy mane for granted so I was really worried at how
reassured by my GP that it was nothing to worry about. Then, while on a family holiday in Cornwall, they seemed to get more frequent. I put them down to overexertion because the area was quite hilly and we were doing lots more walking than usual. On the last day of the break I took the dog for a final walk and started to feel a bit anxious. I was on a solitary, secluded, path and, couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong, but was seized by panic – along with severe palpitations. I quickly headed back to the cottage. Then, 20 minutes into the journey home, my left side started tingling, my fingers went numb and I couldn’t catch my breath. Terrified I was having a heart attack, my husband pulled over and called 999. At hospital an ECG (electrocardiogram) and blood
tests revealed my heart was fine. I was discharged with instructions to see my own GP. Back at home, my doctor referred me to our local hospital for a more intense ECG but still nothing abnormal was found. The palpitations continued – the feeling was horrible. My left arm would go numb, I’d feel like I was gasping for air and about to collapse – but there was no chest pain whatsoever. In despair, I returned to my GP who explained that, although unpleasant, palpitations weren’t really that unusual – some people are simply more aware of their own heartbeat. But, to reassure me, he referred me for a second, 24-hour ECG. I was shocked when the cardiologist sat me down and explained that there was nothing wrong with my heart. My problems were caused by
‘I’d feel like I was gasping for air
much I seemed to be losing. I saw my GP, who said it was probably hormonal and that it would settle down after a few months. However, six months on there was no improvement. My hair looked thin, flat and lifeless. My hairdresser recommended various salon products which did help superficially, but unfortunately didn’t address the underlying problem. Then I read about PureCol collagen supplement. Apparently collagen is the main protein of connective tissue in animals and the most abundant protein in mammals, making up about 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Hair loss can be caused by the hardening of collagen, which interferes with the healthy functioning of the hair roots. Taking a collagen supplement therefore boosts protein in your hair so you gain healthier hair roots
and follicles. The philosophy behind it made sense and, as it was a natural supplement, I decided to give it a try. I took two tablets every day, as instructed, and after just three weeks, my hair began to regain its lustrous shine and texture. At the end of the three-month course the improvement was so noticeable I ordered another three months supply. After six months, my hair had completely returned to its former glory. I still take the supplement as collagen is also a good anti-ageing supplement for skin! ✤ Pure-Col Collagen, from £29.95 for a month’s supply, lookand health. com
anxiety. I was advised to find a good stress reliever and to avoid caffeine and alcohol. I knew various herbs helped with anxiety so I did some research and discovered an herbal remedy called RelaxHerb, which contains passionflower. It had fared really well in a review of 24 studies into herbal remedies for anxiety so decided to give it a try. I took one every night before bed – and cut right down on caffeine and alcohol. Six weeks later, I haven’t had any palpitations. It feels like a huge weight has lifted. I’m sleeping better because I’m no longer worried about night time panic attacks and feel calmer and happier.
✤ Pharmacist Dr Dick Middleton says, ‘Passionflower is a calming herb that has been used traditionally for many years to relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety and stressinduced insomnia.’ RelaxHerb Passion Flower tablets, £9.39 for 30, Holland & Barrett.
‘My hair completely returned to its former glory’
SUPERFO Power Cou
These dynamic duos work together to help your body maximise their available vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for the best health benefits
hanks to recent research, our understanding of which nutrients, minerals and vitamins work in harmony with one another has moved forward. ‘One good example is calcium,’ says Rick Hay, Nutritional Director for Healthista (healthista.com). ‘We now know taking it without vitamin D can mean it’s not absorbed, leaving excess, unused, calcium floating around the body. Combine the right foods, however, and we can all supercharge our nutrition.’
Words: Laura Jackson. Photos: GEttY. aLWaYs consuLt Your GP bEforE takinG food suPPLEmEnts
THE BONE PROTEcTORS
EGGS & kALE WHY? ‘Many people think of calcium
THE ENERGy BOOSTERS
REd PEPPER & cHIckPEAS Chickpeas are packed with iron,
WHY? a mineral 23% of women aged
between 19 and 64 are deficient in, causing chronic tiredness and low mood. The ideal intake is 14.8mg a day, but there are two types: heme iron (derived from haemoglobin in blood), found in meat and fish, and non-heme iron, found in beans, leafy greens and chickpeas. ‘The body finds it hard to absorb non-heme iron unless it’s eaten or taken with vitamin C. So bung a red pepper or some broccoli into a lunchtime chickpea salad, especially if you’re not a meat eater,’ says Rick. THE PERFEcT PORTION: Small red pepper (94.5mcg vitamin C) with ½ can (120g) of chickpeas (7.75mg iron). THE SuPPLEMENT OPTION: Spatone Liquid Iron Supplement Delicious Apple Taste with Vitamin C, £12.49 for 28 sachets, boots.com.
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as essential for bone health, yet vitamin D (found in egg yolks) is critical for the absorption of calcium from the gut,’ explains Lily Soutter, nutritionist with The Chia Co (thechiaco.com/uk). As the key source of vitamin D is sunlight, we have our typically changeable weather to thank for chronically low levels. Adults aged 65+ are most at risk of a deficiency, getting just 35% of their Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) of 10mcg a day. Anyone past menopause is more likely to suffer a calcium deficiency too, with the British Dietetic Association recommending that women should get around 1200mg per day. THE PERFEcT PORTION: Two-egg omelette (4.8mcg vitamin D) with 70g kale (100.4mg calcium). THE SuPPLEMENT OPTION: Calcium Plus Vitamin D, £5.49 for 250 caplets, Holland & Barrett.
THE MOOd ENHANcERS
SALMON & MuSHROOMS ‘Research has shown
WHY? that EPA and DHA (aka the omega-3s found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel), work in conjunction with vitamin D to improve the function of serotonin in the brain, helping ease low mood,’ says Naturopathic Nutritionist Amy Morris. ‘And research shows that vitamin D receptors in the brain play a role in cognitive function, particularly impacting learning and memory, too.’ THE PERFEcT PORTION: One salmon fillet (2.6g omega-3s) and 100g shiitake mushrooms (110mcg vitamin D).
THE SkINSAVING SNAck
cRudITéS & AVOcAdO HOuMOuS Vitamins fall into
WHY? two types; those
that dissolve in water and those that dissolve in fat, such as vitamins A, D, E and K. ‘These fat-soluble nutrients keep bones strong and support the immune system and healthy skin,’ explains Lily. ‘They have a greater bioavailability when combined with fat, so much so that deficiencies may occur if you’re not getting enough of the right fats.’ Opt for heart-friendly monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) such as those in olive oil and avocado. THE PERFEcT PORTION: Rainbow of crudités including peppers, cucumbers and carrots (105mcg vitamin A) and 2-3tbsp homemade avocado houmous (9g fat and 10.5mcg vitamin K). THE SuPPLEMENT OPTION: Perfectil Platinum, £23.95 for 30 tablets, ultravits.com, contains vitamins C and E and fatty acids.
Healthy eating THE HEART HELPERS wATERMELON & GREEk yOGuRT
Lycopene is a fat-soluble antioxidant
WHY? responsible for the bright red
colour of fruits and vegetables. One study published in the journal Neurology, in 2012, found people with high levels of lycopene were least likely to suffer a stroke. Tomatoes are a good source, but watermelon contains around 40% more lycopene. ‘Interestingly, the bioavailability (how much of a nutrient the body is able to actually use) of lycopene drastically increases when it’s combined with fat such as that found in Greek yogurt,’ explains Lily. THE PERFEcT PORTION: A 2.5cm slice of watermelon (15mg of lycopene) and 100g Greek yogurt (5g fat). THE SuPPLEMENT OPTION: Vitabiotics Cardioace Max, £29.99 for 84 capsules, Boots).
THE JOINT PAIN EASERS TuRMERIc & BLAck PEPPER WHY? Curcumin - the
bright-yellow chemical in turmeric - can ease joint pain and prevent inflammation that’s at the root of diseases such as arthritis. A study published by the Journal of Medicinal Food suggested cucurmin may alleviate symptoms of arthritis as effectively as anti-inflammatories such as aspirin and ibuprofen. ‘But, curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body, unless it is taken with piperine (black pepper), which increases absorption by 2000%,’ says Sarah Carolides, nutritional therapist
THE BRAIN BOOSTERS TuRkEy & wATERcRESS
It’s important to get more naturally-
WHY? occurring folate - or its manufactured
THE SuPPLEMENT OPTION: UnoCardio 1000 omega-3 and vitamin D3, £35.75 for 60 softgels, waterforhealth. co.uk.
at Beyond Medispa in Harvey Nichols. THE PERFEcT PORTION: Organic Turmeric Latte Mix, £4.95 for 125g, shop. lucybee.com, contains turmeric and black pepper. THE SuPPLEMENT OPTION: Curcumin (Turmeric) and Black Pepper Capsules, £14.95 for 60 tablets, supplementplace.co.uk.
of tHe best…
equivalent folic acid - into our diets during pregnancy, as the nutrient prevents the condition spina bifida. But it’s is also needed cOOk IT RIGHT: in adult brains and bodies. ‘Folate helps ‘Generally speaking, well done produce red blood cells and a deficiency or slow-cooked steak loses more will leave you with memory problems and iron than medium or rare,’ says Rick. tiredness,’ explains Rick. ‘But to absorb Aim for 70g of lean red meat a day. folate your body needs vitamin B12, which STORE IT RIGHT: although found in meats and fortified Leave mushrooms out in the sun cereals, isn’t in fruits or vegetables. for a few hours and vitamin d Anyone on a meat-free diet may find levels skyrocket, says research a B-vitamin supplement helpful.’ from Penn State university. THE PERFEcT PORTION: 100g turkey dON’T GO GREEN: breast (0.4mcg vitamin B-12) and a large yellow mangoes, red peppers handful of watercress (36mcg folate). THE SuPPLEMENT OPTION: Solgar and red apples all offer Megasorb Vitamin B-Complex, £13.79 more vitamins than their for 50 Tablets, Holland & Barrett. green counterparts.
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ChroniC pAin A Millions of us suffer long term. Here’s what can help...
Chronic pain effects Pain may be localised, such as backache, or after an injury or operation. Neuropathic pain is caused by abnormal pain signals produced by damaged nerves. Arthritis or fibromyalgia can cause chronic widespread pain. Migraines may recur so frequently that they feel constant. Chronic pain can
Painkillers Paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can be very effective, but can affect the liver, stomach, kidney, heart, lungs or blood pressure, especially if you have other medical problems, or take other medication. Rub-in NSAIDs or prescription-only pepper-based capsaicin cream can help too. Stronger painkillers, such as codeine and tramadol, have more side-effects, such as drowsiness and constipation. They can also be addictive and regular use can cause chronic daily headache. Morphine and oxycodone are stronger opiate drugs but cause similar, sometimes intolerable, side-
4 Questions To Ask
Have you had the right tests to diagnose your pain and/or seen an appropriate specialist(s) to discuss possibly successful treatments? Could your feelings about and reactions to the pain (or even clinical depression), be affecting your ability to cope? Would any changes to your environment or your lifestyle help? An
also cause depression – and depression can make pain feel worse. It may also be linked to disability such as difficulty in walking or carrying out everyday activities.
occupational therapist can advise, and you’re entitled to ask for reasonable adjustments to your working conditions. What are your expectations? Do you yearn to be completely pain-free, whatever it takes? Or would you settle for reduced, tolerable pain and fewer side-effects, provided you can get on with your life?
effects. Discuss the pros and cons of each with your GP or pain consultant, and aim to take painkillers only when really needed.
Targeting nerves Neuropathic pain – eg, sciatica, or after shingles – can be treated with drugs that stop pain signals reaching the brain; these include drugs used for depression (useful if you’re also depressed) and epilepsy. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) produces tiny electric impulses that relieve pain through a pad placed on the affected area. In peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) or spinal cord stimulation (SCS), electrical impulse are connected to electrodes inserted into the body/spine. Nerves can also be ‘blocked’ by injecting a local anaesthetic. Acupuncture, sometimes available from NHS pain clinics (or visit medicalacupuncture.co.uk) involves inserting tiny needles into key points around the body.
Physical treatments Physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic can relieve pain by improving posture/function
related to the affected area. If you go privately, choose a practitioner who belongs to their recognised professional organisation (the Health & Care Professions Council, and the General Osteopathic and Chiropractic Councils). Other complementary/ alternative medicines such as homeopathy, herbalism and reflexology aren’t regulated, but may be helpful. Exercising within our capabilities boosts wellbeing too – it releases brain-soothing endorphins, strengthens muscles, improves balance and cardiovascular fitness, helps weight loss, can be sociable, and/or exposes us to ‘green space’ and vitamin D-boosting sunshine.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you to overcome pain-related fears – exercise could make me worse, I’ll never work/sleep properly again – while mindfulness, relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga and/or medication may improve anxiety and depression.
WW Healthy Living 29
lmost half of UK adults live with chronic pain, it’s twice as common in women and increases with age. And research linked to the UK Biobank says a shared mix of environmental and genetic factors means partners are also more likely to suffer too, and we have a one in three chance of ‘inheriting’ chronic pain. But even if it can’t be cured, we can reduce its impact, although we need to ask ourselves some questions first (see tips box, below).
Meet the swiMMing vicar
The Rev Eleanor Reddington usually wears a neck brace and moves around on crutches or a mobility scooter. But in the water, she’s a different person…
t was back in May 1977 when life changed forever for Eleanor Redington. She was sitting in her car waiting to pull out at a roundabout when another car hit her from behind. The resulting whiplash injury meant she had to wear a neck brace on and off and she suffered prolonged bouts of pain. But doctors told her there was nothing they could do to repair the injury so she simply soldiered on ‘with painkillers and prayer’ – until June 1981, when exactly the same thing happened to her again. ‘I was sitting at a different roundabout when once again I was shunted from behind,’ says the 65-year-old Methodist
minister from Swaffham, Norfolk. ‘This time the damage was more severe.’ Eleanor’s spinal cord was damaged, as well as her neck, and she found she had to wear the neck brace permanently and needed elbow crutches or a mobility scooter to move around. ‘It was devastating,’ she says. ‘I couldn’t believe this had happened to me again. But there wasn’t anything that could be done – I just had to get on with it. You have to accept that accidents happen. No matter how careful you are you can’t account for what other people do and you can’t spend your life being angry about it. That gets you nowhere.’ At first she didn’t do any
‘I just had to get on with it. Accidents happen’
Taking part in the Great North Swim at Lake Windermere
Real stories and I felt a great sense of achievement. So much so that I have swum it every year since, raising more than £20,000. Aspire is a spinal injuries charity and having my own spinal injury made Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones, it all the more poignant.’ Woman’s Weekly’s GP, says, And in 2009 Eleanor ‘Swimming is an all-over experienced the real thing workout for the lungs, heart, – taking part in an Aspire relay muscles, joints and mind, team swimming across the whether you do power-lengths, actual Channel, Eleanor aquarobics or just swim at your own pace. swimming a one-hour leg. ‘It The water’s warmth and was amazing, but cold,’ she says. buoyancy means it’s particularly Eleanor has since discovered pleasant if you suffer from a taste for outdoors swimming. stiffness or have joint problems ‘Nothing beats a duck’s eye view that make walking difficult. of our wonderful countryside,’ Many pools have sessions she says. She’s swum a mile in especially for women or older Lake Windermere (England’s swimmers, and if you find largest lake), 10km along yourself straining your neck to Devon’s River Dart and the keep your face out of the water, two-and-a-half miles across it’s worth wearing goggles or having lessons to achieve a the Solent from the mainland dynamic, streamlined stroke. UK to the Isle of Wight. But it’s up to you – you can ‘You do have to keep your set yourself targets, socialise wits about you with big boats as you swim or just let your bearing down on you,’ says mind, as well as your body, Eleanor. ‘I wear a wetsuit for float blissfully away’. outdoor swimming but it’s still And if you’ve never learnt to pretty chilly. I also have my swim, why not learn in later “swimming” crutches – a trusty life? Most pools run adult but rusty old pair which I can learn-to-swim classes, as well take into the water to launch as improver sessions. Ask at your local pool for details or myself off. My long-suffering check out swimming.org. husband Malcolm usually If you’d like to try open-air wades out alongside me to swimming, the Outdoor take them from me and give Swimming Society’s website at them back when I need to get outdoorswimmingsociety.com in and out has lots of information. Visit of the water.’ wildswim.com for a map of ‘Swimming places to swim outdoors near has been a you, including sea, lake, river great way to or lido swimming, as well as strengthen my tidal pools and estuaries. You need to be a confident muscles and I’m sure it’s kept swimmer to swim outdoors me mobile for longer.’ as it’s harder than in a pool, Eleanor pastors Swaffham and it’s best not to go alone and six other Methodist unless you’re a very strong churches in Norfolk but is due and experienced swimmer.’ to retire to Wales this month, where she plans to do plenty of sea swimming. She says, ‘I’m so proud that my injuries The 22-mile Aspire Channel don’t stop me from Swim challenge runs over 12 weeks helping other people. between 10 September and 3 December. My motto is if Participants take part in their local you’re going to swimming pool in their own time. It’s free to enter and all funds raised go towards helping do something, people paralysed by spinal cord injury. you might as well do it properly.’ To register, go to aspirechannelswim.co.uk
Why Swimming Is So Good For You
words: Tanya Pearey
Eleanor hasn’t allowed her injuries to stop her from helping people in her day job
exercise. She’d become a minister in 1980 so was kept busy tending to her flock. But Eleanor, who had enjoyed surfing when she was a teenager in Cornwall, started to feel there was something missing in her life, and a holiday to the Isle of Wight in 2002 showed her what that something was... ‘There was a swimming pool in the garden of the house we were staying at and it just looked too good to miss,’ she explains. So with the help of husband, Malcolm, Eleanor went for a dip. ‘From the moment I got in I felt revived – alive again – and able to move around freely. It was so liberating.’ She swam every day of her stay and when she got back home she went to her local pool and discovered they had a hoist. ‘I didn’t realise that a
lot of pools have hoists so there would be no problem getting in and out of the pool. I was hooked.’ Eleanor started going three or four times a week and found it really helped with her upperbody strength. ‘I don’t kick much because of my spinal injury so all the power comes from my arms,’ she says. It was at her local pool a year later that she saw a poster for a charity swim. It was the Aspire Channel Swim challenge, where you swim the distance of the width of the English Channel (22 miles), spread over a 12-week period. ‘I was swimming about a mile a session, three or four times a week, so it took me a few weeks to complete
‘Nothing beats a duck’s-eye view of our countryside’
bad as you
ThiNk? Don’t over-worry about your siesta, glass of wine or the chocolate stash. Many ‘bad’ habits can be good for your health – if you watch out for the pitfalls...
The bAd: Creamy white
sauces, and shop-bought sauces containing sugar, can make a pasta dish fattening. The good: Pasta is often assumed to be a fast-track to weight gain, but new research shows that it can help us to lose weight. Researchers at the IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Italy found a strong correlation between pasta intake and low obesity rates in a survey of over 23,000 people. be AwAre: Wholemeal pasta is better than white, as it contains more fibre. And if you’re glutenintolerant, try brown rice pasta, or protein-rich mung bean pasta.
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The high levels of caffeine in coffee can create adrenal stress and depletes magnesium, which is vital for muscle function, the nervous system, bone and bowel health, and energy levels. Too little of this mineral can lead to palpitations, restlessness and anxiety.
The bAd: Don’t have
one every day - sleeping for nine hours or more each night can increase our risk of heart attack, and stroke. The good: A long lie-in at the weekend will restore a week of poor or restricted sleep, boosting work performance the following Monday, according to
As well as delivering that morning hit of mental focus, coffee has many long-term benefits, including potentially lowering our risk of depression, diabetes, liver cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. be AwAre: Decaf coffee is not as well researched, but studies suggest it offers some protection against depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and bowel cancer, and may also help prevent dementia. O
research by the University of Pennsylvania. Plus new research shows that a lie-in can decrease our risk of type 2 diabetes. be AwAre: The average optimum amount of kip (to cut risk of diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart attack) is seven and a half hours a night – but there’s some variation between people.
If swearing is part of a fit of temper, much damage can done - 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by road rage, for example. The good: At the right time, in the right place, swearing is a great way of letting off steam that in turn can benefit our wellbeing. A study by the University of East Anglia found that swearing at work helped employees cope with stress; and research by Keele University showed people who use four-letter words are able to endure pain for 50% longer than those who never use expletives. be AwAre: Curse your PC or the lawnmower, but not other people – offending the wrong person could just land you with more stress!
‘Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine, so eating too much may overstimulate your adrenals and nervous system,’ says Brighton-based nutritionist Kirsten Chick (connectwithnutrition.co.uk).
‘Dark and raw chocolate are excellent sources of manganese, iron, and magnesium,’ says Kirsten. ‘Chocolate is also rich in catechins, the antioxidant that helps to prevent heart
disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.’ A study published by the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that eating 100g of chocolate per day can help to prevent type 2 diabetes; and a further study by the University of Reading found that eating it can improve vision. be AwAre: Milk hinders catechins, and a sugary diet puts us at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, so go for dark or raw chocolate that contains a sugar substitute.
Although we used to regard moderate consumption of red wine as healthy, the government has modified its guidance to say that any alcohol can increase our risk of cancer, and advises male and female drinkers consume a maximum of 14 units per week (about 5 large glasses of wine). The good: ‘Red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol which is thought to have beneficial effects on the heart and circulatory system,’ says Felicity Lyons, dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association. be AwAre: ‘A study suggested that for women aged 50 to 64, moderate intake of red wine reduced coronary heart disease risk, but led to a small increase in risk of breast cancer,’ says Felicity. ‘If you currently drink then enjoy your glass of rred with your meal, but if you don’t drink, you certainly don’t have to start, as the health risks outweigh the benefits.’
Spending too much time online can weaken our immune system, and increase stress levels, according to research by Swansea University. The good: Laughing at funny YouTube videos is a great way to boost health. An Oxford University study found that we feel less pain after a good giggle, and it’s believed this relates to the
Research unveiled at the European Society of Cardiology conference proves that a short sleep at noon reduces blood pressure in middle-aged nappers; and further studies have shown that a quick kip
The body replenishes its stores of vitamin D, essential for bone health, when exposed to the sun without SPF. Advice from several UK health organisations (including the British Association of Dermatologists and Cancer Research UK) is that the time to risk being outdoors without protection in order to raise vitamin D levels varies dramatically
between individuals, but should be ’typically short and less than the time needed to redden or burn’, which in midday summer sun in the UK will be around 10-20 minutes, for most people. It’s best to expose as much skin as possible, for example by going for a walk at lunchtime in shorts and a vest top. be AwAre: It’s near impossible to make enough vitamin D when it’s rainy or cloudy, so to reduce risk of osteoporosis, use a vitamin D oral spray like BetterYou DLux 3000, £7.99 from Holland & Barrett.
release of feel-good chemicals called endorphins. And research in California shows that using the internet can boost brain power in middleaged and older users, in turn promoting cognitive health and reducing risk of dementia. be AwAre: Hunching over a screen can create neck and shoulder issues, so sit in a tension-free upright posture while surfing the web.
Napping during the day should not be a regular substitute for a good night’s sleep, which is vital for health.
Unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays puts us at risk of skin cancer.
boosts mental performance. Stopping on a long journey at services for 15-minute nap (plus a hit of caffeine) was found to reduce the dangerous driving impairments caused by sleepiness, in research by Loughborough University. be AwAre: A 10-20 minute nap is ideal – researchers have found that five minutes aren’t enough, and 30-60 minutes is too long, creating grogginess.
Nail Problems solved
Nails can tell you a lot about your general health – here’s all you need to know
ur fingernails grow at around 3mm a month, but toenails can take up to a year to grow out. A balanced diet usually provides all the mineral and vitamins they need. But we need to take care of our nails, too, as they’re made of keratin, a tough fibrous protein which can dry out and become brittle or soften and tear if we often have our hands in water, detergents or chemicals. Wearing cotton lining gloves and moisturising hands and nails daily can help. If you notice changes in your nail’s colour, shape or surface. go to your GP as they can be linked to serious medical conditions and medication.
Trauma Trauma to the growth plate under the cuticle can produce white nail spots, while picking at the cuticle can produce a central groove or allow infection
ILLUSTRATION AND PHOTO: GETTY
to enter – you’ll notice pain, redness and pus, and may need antibiotics. This can also happen if trimming nails into a curve leads to an ingrowing toenail. And a painful blood clot under a trapped nail can be drained. To rule out a finger fracture, you may need X-rays.
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NAIL WALLS LUNULA CUTICLE
Paleness is a sign of anaemia, but white nails may be congenital or signal liver/ kidney disease. A green nail may contain Pseudomonas bacteria, and yellow or brown nails may indicate jaundice, lung disease, thyroid problems, fungal infections – or regular nail polish use. Dark streaks often develop in people with darker skin, and in fungal infections, but they can occasionally be caused by tiny haemorrhages. Rarely, the skin cancer malignant melanoma can develop as a persistent, usually dark, spot or streak.
for several months. You may also need blood tests as they can occasionally damage the liver. Help treatment and prevent recurrence by keeping nails clean and dry, wearing natural fibres (socks and shoes) to reduce sweating, not sharing towels or nail clippers, and wearing shower shoes or flip-flops around swimming pools and changing rooms.
4 Ways To Help Against Fungal Nail Infection
Get the diagnosis confirmed – analysing nail clippings can reveal whether it’s caused by candida (thrush), another type of fungus, or a medical condition. If only one or two nails are affected, try amorolfine lacquer or tioconazole paint from the pharmacy. Treatment takes six to 12 months. Your doctor may prescribe antifungal tablets such as terbinafine
BLOOD VESSELS There are many parts that make up a nail
Spoon-shaped, inward curving nails can be caused by iron-deficiency anaemia or haemochromatosis (too much iron), as well as Raynaud’s (blue/white fingers when it’s cold) and immune system disorders. You may see horizontal grooves across several nails (Beau’s lines) some weeks after an illness or chemotherapy. They grow out naturally, but white lines may mean malnutrition. Longitudinal ridging often develops as we get older,
but also occurs in alopecia areata (patchy hair loss), rheumatoid arthritis, and with circulation problems. Clubbing (outward curving, with rounding of the fingertips) may be linked to chronic lung, heart, liver and bowel diseases, including cancer.
Splitting/crumbling If you have psoriasis, you may spot multiple tiny pits which can make nails thicker, crumbly and discoloured – this can be treated with steroid or vitamin D creams. Nails may lift (onycholysis) or become hard, curved and hard to cut (onychogryphosis). Fungal infections can get in more easily if your nails are already damaged or you have ‘housewife’s hands’ or sweaty feet (see panel, left). And finally, loose nails can be due to over-manicuring (or trauma), so cut them back to where they’re still attached.
Beauty tricks hybrids that care for your skin as well as leave it looking flawless. Try new Max Factor Radiant Lift Foundation, £14.99, which contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate and SPF30 to protect and is available in 18 shades.
Luscious lashes never go out of style, but as we age our lashes can have a tendency to fall out and look shorter and sparser than they did before. Good news then that the latest mascaras are loaded with clever ingredients to
maximise yours, helping them to thicker and longer. IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara, £19, Boots, is a new firm favourite in our make-up bags. It catches every lash – even the teeniest ones – to give you a full, fluttery sweep.
up Bag ! e-
M a r k u o
a t d e p Y U
Forget heavy, powdery foundations. The big trend for autumn is skin that looks dewy and fresh, not hidden by layers of make-up. The latest products to grab our attention are perfect for this; make-up/skincare
The new super mascara
Look like you only better with our new season make-up favourites!
The amazing multi-tasker What could be easier than one product that does it all? The blusher that doubles up as a lipstick? A must in your make-up for the quickest make-up touch-ups! Now’s the time to invest for fresh glowing cheeks and sheeny lips to match. Try one of the juicy shades of No7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush Stick, £10, for a lovely hit of colour.
The new brow shaper A groomed brow never goes out of fashion. Perfectly tailored eyebrows open up your face and as brows get sparser and finer as we age, grooming them becomes just as important as having a good mascara or foundation. But instead of heavy powders or waxes, try Trish McEvoy Brow Mascara Long-wear, £28, selfridges.com. It gives your brows a natural looking definition and all you need to do is comb the wand through your brows and you’re good to go. Can’t get easier than that.
The new hot nail shade Whether you wear it on your hands or your feet, this gorgeous red coral hue – Jessica Phenom Vivid Colour Nail Polish in Red Hots, £13.50, gives nails a cheerful pop that looks great with any outfit. Best of all, the gel-like finish lasts for ages without chipping, but unlike normal gel manicures, this one is so easy to remove with regular nail polish remover, so no damage done to your nails.
The bold lip Like to keep your make-up easy? Then what could be simpler than fresh skin teamed with a pretty bright lip colour. It’s the quickest way to dress your face, transforming it just like a fabulous pair of shoes snazzes up an outfit. Try a pop of suits-all coral and pat it on with your finger to give a softer, more natural looking colour. We love Collection Velvet Kiss Moisturising Lip Cream in Mango, £3.99.
WordS: SArAh CooPer-WhITe. PhoToS: GeTTy
The look younger foundation
A Great Place … Go For A Cycle ExplorE DEvon
evon boasts some of Britain’s most spectacular coastline and countryside to take in. And whatever your age and ability, it has a cycle trail to suit, many of them traffic-free. So put your bikes on a roof rack or ask at tourist information offices about local hire. Lapsed cyclists and families can pedal gently along the Exe Estuary Trail from Exeter or enjoy stunning estuary views on the Tarka Trail across North Devon. Or try the Granite Way which offers panoramic views across Dartmoor on an 11-mile stretch of disused railway between Okehampton and
Lydford. Level railway routes also provide the framework for Devon Coast-to-Coast, a 99-mile route between Ilfracombe on the north coast and Plymouth in the south. For those who enjoy steeper gradients, the circular Dartmoor Way winds through towns and villages along quiet lanes and dedicated tracks. Fancy an epic adventure? Devon is part of the 240-mile West Country Way from Bristol to Padstow, and – with Dorset – forms part of the Tour de Manche, a 1,200km crossChannel cycle trail which follows the British Jurassic Coast and the French coastline of Brittany and Normandy. Ilfracombe is also the start – or Follow the tarka trail across north Devon
take in the sights while riding in rutland Water
ride your bike through the loire valley
finish – of the Vélodyssée, which runs for over 1,200km down the French Atlantic coast to the Spanish border. Find route information at https://new.devon.gov.uk/ cycling/cycle-routes/cycletrails/ and accommodation at stayindevon.co.uk.
or a great family cycle adventure, you can’t beat Rutland Water near Oakham, which offers 23 miles of surfaced paths around a picturesque reservoir. Take your own bike or hire from Rutland Cycling at Whitwell or Normanton (rutlandcycling. com), then stop off at one of the two nature reserves where you may spot an osprey. Enjoy a lakeside picnic or cafe stop
and, for those with energy to spare, there’s a watersports centre, treetop adventure t rail and children’s play area. Non-cyclists can relax on a lake cruise or take a seven-mile walk round the peninsula, which juts out into the centre of the lake around Hambleton Hall country house hotel. For more information, visit discover-rutland.co.uk.
loirE à vÉlo
f you’re heading to the Loire Valley this summer, take a cycle along the Loire à Vélo, a long-distance cycle tourism route that stretches for 800km from the outskirts of Nevers to the Atlantic coast. The route is geared up for family cyclists as well as lycra-clad enthusiasts with bike hire shops and bike-friendly hotels along the way. This is a real hop-on, hop-off route through unspoilt river scenery, rich in animals and birds; through charming villages; and past grand chateaux. It also links up with other cycle routes. The path is well signposted, surfaced and, in many places, car free. For more details, visit cycling-loire.com.
Get out and about
the national memorial Arboretum, staffordshire
… Go For A Walk in the Woods GrizEDAlE ForEst, CumbriA
estled in the heart of the Lake District between the lakes of Windermere and Coniston, Grizedale Forest has waymarked walking trails suitable for all levels of energy and ability. Graded Easy, Moderate or Hard, the nine routes offer views of lakes and mountains, as well as the forest’s sculptures. Around 40 artworks are located beside the trails and there is an exhibition on them in the visitor centre. If you’ve small children in tow, try the mile-long Stick Man trail, where the whole family can enjoy finding information panels and completing fun activities. The Millwood Trail is another Easy route, surfaced for pushchairs and wheelchairs with views over Grizedale Valley. Seasoned walker? A steep climb up the High Bowkerstead Trails leads past Force Falls to a viewpoint before dropping down into the valley of Dale Park. Or try the three-mile Carron Crag Trail leading to Grizedale’s highest point – and
from an altitude of 314m, the panorama stretches out across Lakeland Fells to Morecambe Bay. Managed by the Forestry Commission, Grizedale Forest has a range of family-friendly activities, including orienteering trails, an adventure play area, and bike hire from children’s bikes and trailers to mountain bikes and even electric versions. And when you need refuelling, Grizedale Cafe is open throughout the year. Visit forestry.gov.uk/grizedale.
nAtionAl mEmoriAl ArborEtum
emember those who have proudly served their country with a tranquil walk round the National Memorial Arboretum. Located in Alrewas in Staffordshire, the park contains more than 30,000 maturing trees and over 300 memorials. Among them is the Armed Forces Memorial, the UK’s tribute to over 16,000 men and women killed on duty or as a result of terrorist action since 1948. Take part in the
Daily Act of Remembrance at 11am or Enjoy nature at Winkworth listen to one of Arboretum in surrey the regular free talks. They also have exhibitions and events. For full details, visit thenma.org.uk. It’s open daily except Christmas Day; admission free but donations appreciated.
WinkWorth ArborEtum, surrEy
very day is different at Winkworth Arboretum near Godalming in Surrey, where more than 1,000 different shrubs and trees change colour with the seasons. Established by plant enthusiast Dr Wilfrid Fox, Winkworth has been owned by the National Trust for over 60 years, a magical spot for a quiet walk or family outing. In summer, children can explore hidden corners among the lush foliage and get close to nature
spot sculptures on your walk in Cumbria’s Grizedale Forest around the lake and wetland areas. Come back in autumn to enjoy glorious woodland colours; discover the beautiful shapes of bare trees in winter; and visit in spring for blossom, bluebells and azaleas. When it’s too fresh for a picnic, enjoy homemade cakes and light lunches in the cosy cafe. Visit nationtrust.org.uk/ winkworth-arboretum.
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Better Breakfasts They do say it’s the most important meal of the day. Get it off to a great start with these healthy and tasty options...
Green Tea Smoothie Bowl ServeS 1 Q 1 avocado Q 2tbsp natural yogurt Q Handful of baby spinach Q 1 pear Q 4cm (1½in) piece of cucumber Q Squeeze of lime 38 WW Healthy Living
Q 100ml (3½fl oz) cold green tea Q Small handful of berries Q 1tbsp mixed seeds
in a blender until smooth Top with fresh berries of your choice and a sprinkling of mixed seeds.
PER SERVING: 378 calories, 24g fat (5g saturated fat), 25g carbohydrates
To make the smoothie, blitz all ingredients, apart from the berries and seeds,
Breakfast Burrito Wrap ServeS 1 Q 1tbsp vegetable oil Q 2 medium eggs Q 250g pack ready-cooked Tilda Spicy Mexican bean and chilli steamed basmati rice Q 2 flour tortillas Q 3tbsp guacamole
Q 1 baby gem lettuce, chopped Q 1tbsp hot salsa Q Â˝ bunch coriander, leaves chopped Q Squeeze of lime
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the eggs for a few mins.
lettuce. Add the rice, eggs, a little salsa, coriander and a squeeze of lime, then roll up and cut in half to serve.
PER SERVING: 526 calories, 23g fat (5g saturated fat), 60.5g carbohydrates
Heat the rice according to the pack instructions. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for a few secs on High, or on a hot griddle pan. Spread the guacamole in the middle of the tortillas, then top with the chopped
WW Healthy Living 39
Blueberry Bircher ServeS 1 Q 35g (1¼oz) rolled oats Q 2tbsp apple juice Q 70ml (2fl oz) semi-skimmed milk Q ½tsp cinnamon Q ½tsp ground flax Q Handful of blueberries
Combine the oats, apple juice, milk, cinnamon and flax. Leave to soak for a few hours or overnight. To serve, top the oats with a handful of blueberries. If you want to add a little extra sweetness, you can drizzle over honey.
PER SERVING: 182 calories, 4g fat (1.5g saturated fat), 28g carbohydrates
ServeS 1 Q 60g (2oz)cooked beetroot Q 60g (2oz) 0% fat Greek yogurt Q 4 sprigs of fresh dill Q 2 slices of Nimble wholemeal Q Handful of fresh watercress
Mash or purée the beetroot with the yogurt and dill, and season to taste. Lightly toast the bread. Spread over beetroot mixture and top with watercress.
PER SERVING: 148 calories, 1.5g fat (0.5g saturated fat), 23.5g carbohydrates
CoMPILEd by JESSICa FINdLay. PHoToS: TI-MEdIaCoNTENT.CoM
Brilliant Beetroot Toasts
Squash & Kale Breakfast Omelette ServeS 1 Q 250g (8oz) butternut squash, peeled and seeded, then diced into approx 1cm (½in) cubes Q 30g (1oz) curly kale leaves, roughly chopped Q 4 free-range egg whites Q ¼tsp chilli flakes (optional) Q 2 sage leaves, finely chopped Q Oil spray, such as Frylight Q 6 baby cherry tomatoes, halved Q 20g (¾oz) sprouting seeds, such as Good4U Super Sprouts mix
Put the diced squash in a vegetable steamer placed over a pan of barely boiling water. Cover and steam for 5 mins. add the kale leaves and steam for 5-8 mins more, or until both the squash and kale are just tender. Whisk the egg whites lightly with the chilli flakes, and chopped sage if using, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Spray a non-stick frying pan with oil, then place over a medium heat and tip the squash
and kale into the pan. Pour over the egg-white mixture and shake the pan gently to combine. Scatter the cherry tomatoes over the top, then cook over a low heat for 3-5 mins, until just set. Remove pan from the heat, slide omelette onto a plate and serve immediately, garnished with a handful of sprouting seeds.
PER SERVING: 198 calories, 2g fat (0.5g saturated fat), 22g carbohydrates WW Healthy Living 41
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It’s my hOrmOnes! your pituitary gland conducts your hormonal orchestra. Here’s what can go wrong and how to sort it when it’s out of sync...
ur pea-sized pituitary glands are located deep behind the bridge of our noses at the base of our brains. The anterior and posterior areas produce nine different hormones (chemical messengers) that control various body functions. These are monitored and adjusted by a nearby brain area which is called the hypothalamus. If, for example, our hypothalamus detects that our thyroid gland isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone (thyroxine), it sends TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) to our pituitary, which releases more TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and makes our thyroid step up production. This ‘feedback loop’ also ensures that when we’ve made enough thyroxine, our hypothalamus switches off TRH until it next detects more thyroxine is needed.
4 Tests You May Need
A series of blood tests to measure the functions of your pituitary, hypothalamus and various organs in your body. A skull X-ray – may show pressure on skull bones from a growing pituitary tumour. Eye tests – you may not be able to see things at the side or top of each eye’s field of vision. A magnetic resonance (MR) brain scan.
Pituitary symptoms may be mixed or unusual, especially if more than one hormone is affected (see below).
What can go wrong?
Each hormone has its own feedback loop, constantly adjusting levels to our needs. But a pituitary tumour (growth) may boost levels of one or more stimulating hormones, although some may actually fall (pituitary failure) if nearby cells get squashed. Levels may also rise if the ‘target organ’ (for example, the thyroid) isn’t responding. Pituitary tumours are almost always benign (noncancerous) but as they grow they can also cause headaches, or press on nearby nerves, impairing vision. Pituitary failure can also occur after major childbirth haemorrhage.
Posterior pituitary symptoms
The posterior pituitary produces ADH (antidiuretic hormone) which tells the kidneys to excrete less water. Too much causes fluid retention and high blood pressure. Too little causes frequent urination, thirst and dehydration. The posterior pituitary also produces oxytocin, important for labour and breast milk release.
Anterior pituitary symptoms
The anterior pituitary controls our thyroid glands. Too much TSH speeds our bodies up,
Hormone function while too little slows everything down. It also sends ACTH to our adrenal glands. These make cortisol (our ‘fright, flight or fight’ hormone), which also affects our blood sugar, blood pressure, immune system and suppresses inflammation. Too much ACTH leads to Cushing’s syndrome (weight gain, red ‘moon’ face, high blood pressure). Too little produces Addison’s disease (low blood pressure, chemical abnormalities and extreme fatigue). The anterior pituitary also produces growth hormone (which controls growth and repair, including our muscle/ fat balance) and melanocyte stimulating hormone (for skin pigment/colour). Too much growth hormone produces acromegaly (excessive height, large hands, feet, tongue and a deep voice). Too little stunts growth. The anterior pituitary gland also produces sex hormones (LH and FSH) which control our ovaries (and testicular function in men). High or low
levels can affect menstruation and fertility. Hot flushes and sweats are triggered by surges in LH/FSH when our menopausal ovaries stop responding. High levels of the ninth hormone, prolactin, can stimulate inappropriate breast milk production.
Treatment Pituitary tumours can be treated with surgery, radiotherapy or suppressant drugs. You may also need specific treatment or to take supplements for high or low levels of various hormones, before, afterwards and/ or instead of removal. But as more of us have brain scans for various reasons, surprising numbers of pituitary microadenomas are being detected. These tiny, benign tumours may not need treatment unless they grow or rock the ‘hormone boat’. But you’ll need regular monitoring and adjustment of treatment, especially if you are planning a pregnancy.
WW Healthy Living 43
Five Minutes T Try these simple at-home exercises for five minutes, six times a day to give your whole body a workout
Great for… your abs The MaT JuMp
l Start in the plank position – with hands directly below the shoulders. l Jump both feet to the left, using your hips as a pivot so your lower body swings left. Keep your knees together. l As soon as you have landed, spring back to the middle and
then jump to the right. l Keep going back and forth, from left to right, with a short bounce in the middle. Tip Keep your shoulders directly over your hands and your hips low to allow the abs to do most of the work.
Great for... your lower back
l Lay on your front with arms and legs straight. l Keeping your limbs straight,
44 WW Healthy Living
lift arms and legs off of the floor in a slow and controlled movement. l Return to your original
Great for... your thiGhs The reclining buTTerfly pose
l Start by sitting on the floor with both knees bent out to the side and your feet together. l Sitting up straight, take a deep breath in, then slowly begin to round your spine until your back is resting on the ground, arms out to the side. l Allow your knees to drop nearer and nearer the floor. l Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times. Tip This move can help stimulate your circulation.
starting position in a slow and controlled movement – don’t let gravity do all of the work but feel the tension in the working muscles. l Repeat this for an appropriate number of 10-15 reps.
Tip This move also strengthens hamstrings (upper rear leg), glutes (bottom) and shoulders, and is good for improving your posture.
To… A Fitter You Great for... your core
The sTanding foldover
l Holding onto a steady chair for support, stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. l Walk your feet back until your body is bent at 90 degrees at your waist. l Then, keeping your hips
parallel to the floor and abs engaged, lift one leg behind you to hip height, so your body forms a straight line. l Using your glutes (not your back), slowly raise and lower your leg a few inches, making tiny, slow and controlled movements – for up to a minute. Alternate legs.
Great for... your upper body
The lizard crawl
l The idea is to crawl forward without letting your knees touch the floor. l Start with your hands and toes on the floor. l Make sure you keep you back flat by tightening your core and bottom. l Now, crawl forward on your right arm while bringing your
left knee towards your left elbow. l Shift your body weight onto your right arm and left leg and crawl forward on your left arm and right leg. Tip aim to be as fast and dynamic as possible while staying as close to the floor as you can to work your arms, back and core.
Great for... your arms
Top, bra and leggings from shock absorber (shockabsorber.co.uk)
The bicep circle
l Stand with legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell (or water bottle) in each hand. l Bend your elbows so that your palms are upwards. l Keeping your spine straight, squat and circle your left hand up and in towards your shoulder in a circular motion as if beckoning someone towards you. l Then do the circular movement in reverse so that you are lowering your hand. l Do 12 repetitions, and then switch sides. Work up to performing three or four sets.
Great for... relievinG stress
The deep breaTh counT l Take deep breaths in and out through the nose to promote relaxation and induce calm. l Now count backwards in your head from the number 20,000. Like this: 20,000. 19,999, 19,998, 19,997, 19,996, etc. The breaths don’t have to match the counting. l Count for a minute focusing on your breathing.
Tip don’t worry if you lose your place or get the numbers wrong. it's surprisingly hard to focus on the numbers. if you mess up, simply go back to 20,000 and start your minute again. The change in focus will help reset your mind.
Ask An E Your health questions answered by Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones
did my GP take my blood Q Why pressure in both arms? A
photos (poded by models): getty
Our BP measures the maximum (top number) and minimum (bottom number) pressure of blood flowing though the arteries in our upper arms – for example, 120/80 mm Hg. When our hearts pump blood into our main body artery (aorta), our right arm’s artery branches off first; further branches deliver blood to our head and left arm, before the aorta travels down to supply various organs and each leg. If narrowing occurs at any point, blood flow slows and the pressure rises, falling again after the obstruction. Narrowing may be congenital (coarctation) or triggered by cholesterol/blood cell deposits. These can weaken the aorta so that it dilates (aneurysm) and may even rupture.
So pressure differences are important, and we should all have our BP measured in both arms at least once. Even a 5mm difference may indicate a raised risk of cardiovascular disease, and if it’s more than 10mm Hg, a scan of the aorta may be needed. Further checks and treatment decisions should then be based on the arm with the higher reading.
I broke my wrist recently. How can I avoid another fracture?
We can all reduce our risk of falls and fractures – for example, with daily weight-bearing exercise such as walking (which also strengthens bones), and exercises that boost muscles, joints and balance. Calciumrich foods, sunshine or vitamin D supplements, and eliminating ‘trip hazards’
46 WW Healthy Living
such as vision problems, poor lighting and domestic obstacles can help too. But if you’re in your mid-40s or beyond, your risk of another fracture is greater if you have a personal or family history of age-related, bone-thinning osteoporosis, or either parent had a hip fracture. It may also be higher if you’re underweight, or have had an eating disorder, if you
My optician says I have an early cataract. Would taking vitamin C supplements help?
Cataracts are gradual clouding of the eye’s lens, which focuses incoming light so we can see clearly. They’re usually caused by lifelong exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and pollution; these produce yellowing and deposits that reduce and distort the light. So you may notice misty vision, distorted images, double vision, struggle to see in dim light, be dazzled by headlights, or see haloes round lights at night. Eventually cataracts can make close work difficult, or driving unsafe, but they can be effectively treated by replacing the
lens under local anaesthetic. They’re more common in people who have diabetes or conditions that cause eye inflammation, who take steroids or have a family history of cataracts. US research says a healthy diet, rich in vitamin C, may reduce our risk of cataracts by 20%, so I’d suggest eating a ‘rainbow’ of fruit and veg, which will also boost eye-friendly vitamin A, rather than taking supplements, which don’t appear to help. It’s also worth wearing wraparound sunglasses on sunny days to reduce ultraviolet rays – look for the CE mark or BSEN 1836:1997.
drink above recommended limits or smoke, if your periods started late and/or finished early – or stopped for more than six months (other than in pregnancy), if you have taken long-term steroid or antioestrogen tablets, or if you have an overactive thyroid or rheumatoid arthritis. Fracture liaison services that focus on people at risk can reduce ‘second breaks’ by around a third, according to
recent research. But your GP or specialist can work out your personal risk (for example, your FRAX score), and advise whether you need bone-boosting medication.
xpert white patches have Q Some appeared on my body. They don’t really itch – what’s causing them? A If they’re slightly scaly or you’ve been perspiring on holiday or a sunbed, they could be a yeast infection called pityriasis versicolor; you could try anti-yeast cream or lotion (clotrimazole or selenium sulphide) from a pharmacy. But this could be vitiligo, which affects pigmentproducing skin cells and may be an immune-system problem. It affects around 1% of us, often as young adults, and can run in families, be linked to other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes or thyroid problems, or triggered by stress, chemicals or sunburn. Patches tend to occur on the face, hands, in skin folds and around the mouth or groin and are more prone to sunburn; they can be diagnosed using special (Wood’s) light. There’s no specific test, although your GP may carry out blood
checks to rule out other conditions. You’ll need to avoid sunburn by using strong sunscreen, and you may find prescription camouflage make-up helpful. Steroid creams occasionally help, but can have side-effects if used frequently/long-term. Your GP may also refer you to a dermatologist, who can prescribe cream containing tacrolimus or pimecrolimus, or recommend phototherapy (light therapy), which may restore the pigment.
can I avoid recurrent Q How bacterial vaginosis? A Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a common cause of vaginal discharge, which is typically thin, greyish-white, and only slightly irritant with an unpleasant fishy smell, and develops when the normal bacterial balance/acidity of the vagina get disturbed. It’s not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but symptoms may get worse after lovemaking or a change of partner. Using a copper IUCD (coil), excessive hygiene, and smoking also increase your risk, but condoms or the oral contraceptive pill may protect. BV can occasionally cause problems during pregnancy and delivery, or after a termination. It can be diagnosed using a vaginal swab, so it’s important to get checked to rule out other STIs and
gynaecological conditions, diti unless you’re certain it’s BV. Medical treatment aims to restore your bacterial balance with antibiotic tablets, creams or gels, but may cause nausea or affect barrier contraceptives. A pessary (inserted vaginally) called dequalinium chloride, which can be used with latex-only condoms, is now also available on prescription. Up to three quarters of women get a recurrence within three months, but you may be able to reduce this by avoiding shower gel, bubble bath, antiseptics, deodorants and vaginal douching. Probiotics don’t seem to work.
has a Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) Q Myformmum in her records. Why wasn’t it discussed with me? A DNAR decisions relate to people having end-of-life care and are intended to spare them (and their relatives) distress caused by treatments or interventions that won’t change the outcome, and could cause unnecessary/ prolonged suffering – for example, cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) when someone has only a few days to live. The medical team can make this decision, based on what they consider to be the person’s best interests. National guidelines say that the various possibilities should be discussed with the person themselves, if they are well enough to understand
and speak for themselves, and with relatives if that is what they wish (or can’t express their wishes). The legal status of DNARs is currently under debate, but if I, or a loved one, was life-threateningly ill, I would probably broach the subject myself, in case a DNAR was being considered.
WW Healthy Living 47
H T N O M Y R E V E E L A S OAN py sk your newsagent to save you a co
Treating varIcose veIns I
How to cope with painful or unsightly veins
t’s thought that around 30% of us have varicose veins. Women are more prone than men. Varicose veins are prominent, raised, and/or twisted blue surface veins that can appear in one or both legs. These superficial veins fill up and dilate when gravity and other factors force backward leaks in the one-way valves that are supposed to take surface blood back to deeper leg veins. The pressure creates leaks out into surrounding skin, which may become red/brown, swollen and unhealthy. Varicose veins often run in families and are more common
5 Ways To Help
Keep to a healthy weight and exercise to improve your circulation. Avoid standing still for long periods – stretch legs and move around regularly. Put your feet up when sitting, but stand up and move for five minutes every hour. Wear support stockings or tights to counteract war out d pressure. Put them on as soon as you get up. Moisturise legs daily. Massaging horse chestnut cream into unbroken skin may relieve discomfort.
as we get older. They’re also linked to standing for long periods, oestrogen and obesity. Very rarely they’re caused by pelvic tumours which can block blood flow.
The symptoms Even if you can see varicose veins (or bluish-purple ‘thread’ veins), you may not have any symptoms. But they can lead to aching heavy legs, itching, burning sensations, restless legs and/or cramps at night, as well as oedema (swelling). This can progress to complications such as varicose eczema (red, scaly skin patches), infection (redness, soreness, heat and weeping) or varicose ulcers. These are breaks in the skin around the ankle that can quickly enlarge, fill with discharge and become infected. They’re more common after a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). d Varicose veins may also become inflamed (hard, b rred and hot - superficial tthrombophlebitis), which can
lead to a DVT, although this can also develop unexpectedly, producing deep calf pain, redness and swelling. Varicose veins can also bleed heavily if traumatised – press hard with a clean cloth for 20 minutes and seek advice.
Tests you may need An examination of your leg veins, foot pulses and skin may be all that’s needed. Your GP will also weigh you and ask about risk factors. Varicose veins or a DVT can be diagnosed with an ultrasound (Doppler) duplex scan. You may also need blood tests to check for infection, diabetes or other conditions.
The treatment Most people manage with selfhelp (see left). Your GP may prescribe support stockings but can only refer you to a
Drainage from surface to deeper leg veins becomes less efficient
vascular specialist for NHS treatment if you meet National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. These include severe discomfort, pain, swelling, pigmentation, eczema, or an ulcer that’s lasted more than two weeks. Superficial thrombophlebitis can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen tablets or gel; cellulitis requires antibiotics. Eczema can be treated with steroid creams. Ulcers should be treated by qualified nurses, using multiple layers of compression bandaging. Severe bleeding and suspected DVT are emergencies; you’ll need anticoagulant treatment if a DVT is confirmed. NHS treatments include avulsion or stripping and ligation (tying off the veins). Radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser therapy use ultrasound to guide a radiofrequency catheter or laser wire into the vein to heat and seal it off. Small varicose veins are sometimes sealed off with sclerotherapy (chemical injections).
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What Do They Do? The sports physio
Gemma Jefferson is a British Paratriathlon Physiotherapist based at Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre in Leicestershire port has always been a big part of my life so I always knew I had to have a job that was active. About three years into my career as a physiotherapist, I worked with an amputee – a young, active guy who was keen to get back into sport after his accident. Rehabilitation wasn’t just about getting him mobile – it was about getting him back running. And suddenly that opened up a whole new world – working in Disability Sport. About two years ago, I became involved in British Paratriathlon. I had a reasonable amount of knowledge of each of the three sports (swimming, running and cycling) separately – but the biggest challenge was learning how they all worked together. A big part of my job is linking in with the prosthetic companies: A prosthetic (or false limb) has to be functional, comfortable and safe – I have to make sure the athlete isn’t getting any sores and the skin is well protected. Each disability has its own considerations and, with amputees,
The health assessor
Justin Jones is a National Physiology Manager at Nuffield Health ealth and fitness has always been a passion. I was obsessed with sport as a child, so it was natural for me to study a health-related degree. At university, I became interested in holistic health and the wider concept of wellbeing and wanted to do something that I genuinely enjoyed – not just a nineto-five job to pay the bills. I’ve had several roles at Nuffield Health – working my way up. The clients we see not only have more time with our clinicians than they are likely to have in the NHS but, because blood results are reviewed during the Health Assessment, this allows for more focused and bespoke clinical discussions. We are also trained in coaching and behaviour change strategies so aim to improve overall wellbeing, not simply to address a particular physical health problem. As a health and wellbeing physiologist, I typically see three to four clients per day, for up to two hours. I carry out traditional tests, like blood pressure, blood glucose and urine analysis but I also do more specialised tests, such as computerised spinal assessment, hydration levels and body fat percentage to get the most detailed and accurate picture possible.
After the tests and investigations, I devise a strategy with the client to address any health problems and set some goals. To do this, I work within a collaborative team, which includes doctors, physiotherapists, nutritional therapists, nurses, fitness professionals and occupational therapists. We also focus on managing stress and emotional wellbeing. Our health assessments can save lives: for instance, we saw a 43-year-old man concerned about a family history of prostate cancer. His GP had advised against a screening PSA test (a blood test that measures the amount of prostate specific antigen in the blood), because he was under 50 and didn’t have any symptoms. We, however, agreed it would be beneficial. When results indicated a cause for concern, further investigations detected a cancerous tumour and he underwent a radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland). While those cases are thankfully rare, it’s fantastic when a client who’s been struggling with one or more aspects of their health for years makes life-changing, improvements to their lifestyle. l Health Assessment prices start from £267. For details, call 0333 220 4493 or visit nuffieldhealth.com/healthassessments.
‘I devise a strategy with the client’
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Alternative health Three natural health professionals talk about their jobs... that’s the biggest one. But the range of prosthetics and the new ideas people are coming up with to solve problems is amazing – and the technology will continue to improve. Each athlete I work with has different needs and issues, and we're constantly keeping an eye on them. I see most of them, on average, twice a week in clinic – whether that’s hands-on treatment, or injury prevention, or rehabilitation. I try to get along to training sessions as well, so I can see them swim, on the bike and running – and I’m always taking time to talk to the coaches about any of their concerns or worries. When you first meet paratriathletes you have all the normal thoughts other people do… ‘They’re really brave’ and ‘If I was in that position how would I have coped?’ However, when I get to know them I’m not in awe because of their disability – but because they have made sacrifices in their own lives to just train the way they do and do the sport they enjoy and try and be the best they can be. That’s almost ‘disability irrelevant’ really. l To find out more about Paratriathlon sessions, visit britishtriathlon.org/getinvolved/paratriathlon.
‘Each athlete I work with has different needs’
Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is a nutritionist specialising in women’s health rom an early age I was plagued with migraines. They were so bad I’d be left lying down in a darkened room, often vomiting. Over the years, doctors gave me numerous drugs, referred me to a migraine clinic and even checked for a brain tumour – all to no avail. In my early 20s, I had my first taste of natural medicine when I went to see an acupuncturist who suggested I look at my diet. To think that what I ate and drank could be affecting my health was a revelation to me. With acupuncture and a change in my diet, the migraines disappeared. And I was inspired to study the effects of nutrition and diet on health... I’ve now been in clinical practice for over 30 years; give talks both to healthcare professionals and the general public and I have written 14 books. Before I see a client, I ask them to complete a questionnaire listing health concerns, and details of diet and lifestyle habits so I can analyse it beforehand. This provides me with the basis for my consultation. I then recommend an eating plan and possibly tests to check for vitamin
‘My work is rewarding and inspiring’
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ILLUSTRATIONS: TRINA DALZIEL
and mineral deficiencies, stress, digestive function, hormone levels and bone health, etc. Depending on these results, I may also recommend a programme of supplements. I find that women today are far more proactive in looking after their health – downloading information from the internet and reading books. Thankfully, they are no longer ‘compliant’: Instead asking questions such as, ‘What is the benefit of taking this treatment? What are the possible side effects and are there any risks? What happens if I decide not to take this drug?’ And most importantly, ‘What other choices do I have?’ My work is rewarding and inspiring. Numerous baby photos on my wall are testament to the couples I’ve seen struggling with infertility who have conceived naturally by making nutritional changes. I also receive thank-you cards from women suffering from hormone problems, such as PCOS, PMS or the menopause, who feel they have got their lives back because their symptoms have disappeared. l Dr Glenville runs clinics in Harley Street, London, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and in Ireland. For details, visit marilynglenville.com.
5 Ways With...
Tomatoes They donâ€™t just taste good, theyâ€™re also a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and can help reduce blood pressure
Rice & Pearl Barley Salad with Tomatoes, Feta & Mint serves 6 Q 100g (3½oz) pearl barley Q 125g (4oz) basmati rice Q 2 garlic cloves, crushed Q 60g (2oz) pine nuts Q 1 red onion, chopped Q Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon Q 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil Q 1 small bunch basil leaves, chopped Q 1 small bunch mint leaves, chopped Q 250g pack red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved Q 180g pack light sheep’s feta cheese Q A few basil and mint leaves, to garnish
Healthy ingredient Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart serves 6 Q 250g (8oz) shortcrust pastry For the Filling: Q 500g cherry tomatoes Q 1tbsp olive oil Q 2tbsp torn basil, plus extra to garnish Q 300ml (½pt) whipping cream Q 2 medium eggs Q 23cm (9in) fluted flan tin Set the oven to 190°C or Gas mark 5. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up. line the flan tin with the pastry. Prick the base and
chill for at least 20 mins. Place the tomatoes in a roasting tin and drizzle over the oil. line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Place on the hot baking sheet and put the tin with tomatoes on the shelf below and cook both for 12 mins. Remove the tomatoes and pastry. Take out the parchment and beans and return the pastry case to the oven for 5-7 mins until a light golden colour. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C or Gas mark 4.
To make the filling, spread the tomatoes out in the pastry case. Scatter over the basil. beat the cream with the eggs, season, and pour the mixture into the pastry case. bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 mins, until the filling is just set. Remove from the oven. leave to cool for 10 mins before removing from the tin. Scatter more basil leaves on top.
PER SERVING: 448 calories, 34g fat (20g saturated fat), 24g carbohydrates
Place the pearl barley in a pan, cover with 550ml (18fl oz) boiling salted water. Cover and simmer for 25 mins, until tender, then drain. Put the rice and garlic in another pan, with 400ml (14fl oz) cold salted water. Cover, bring to the boil, and then simmer gently for 10 mins, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Dry-fry the pine nuts in a non-stick pan for a few mins, turning until golden all over. Add the red onion to a large bowl with the lemon zest and juice and the olive oil. Stir in the pearl barley, rice, most of the pine nuts and the chopped herbs. Gently mix in the cherry tomatoes and cheese, and season generously with salt and black pepper. Tip into a salad bowl and sprinkle over reserved pine nuts and garnish with basil and mint leaves.
ComPIlED by JESSICA FINDlAy. PHoToS: TI-mEDIACoNTENT.Com
PER SERVING: 475 calories, 22g fat (6g saturated fat), 51g carbohydrates WW Healthy Living 53
Mexican Tomato & Black Bean Soup ServeS 6 Q 1tbsp olive oil Q 1 onion, peeled and chopped Q 1 stick celery, chopped Q 1 carrot, chopped Q 1 red chilli, chopped Q 1tsp paprika Q 1tsp cumin Q 1tsp ground coriander Q 400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes Q 600ml (1pt) vegetable stock Q 400g (14oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed FOr THe TOppingS: Q 1 avocado and 2 tomatoes, chopped and tossed in lime juice Q Few handfuls of corn tortillas, broken up Q Soured cream Q Handful of coriander
Chorizo & Tomato Bread & Butter Pudding ServeS 4 Q 2tbsp light olive oil Q 1 onion, peeled and sliced Q 400g can chopped tomatoes Q 1tsp caster sugar Q 1 bay leaf Q 30g (1oz) butter, softened Q 6-8 slices white bread, crusts removed Q 3 eggs Q 10-15 slices of thinly sliced chorizo Q 3-4tbsp freshly grated mature Cheddar cheese Set the oven to 180°C or Gas Mark 4. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion for 5 mins until it starts to soften. Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf and 300ml (½pt) water and simmer for about 10-15 mins. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the
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mixture to cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste. Butter all the bread on one side and cut in half diagonally. Beat the eggs into the cooled tomato sauce. Pour about a third of it into the base of a buttered ovenproof dish. Arrange the bread on top, butter-side up, and insert the chorizo slices between the bread. Top with the remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle over the cheese. Bake for 25-30 mins, or until the cheese is a light golden colour and the tomato mixture has just set.
PER SERVING: 319 calories, 18g fat (8g saturated fat), 29g carbohydrates
Heat the oil in a large pan and sweat the onion, celery, carrot and chilli for 10 mins. Add the spices and stir over the heat for 1 min. Pour in the tomatoes, stock and beans, and simmer for 30 mins. Blitz half the soup in a blender or leave chunky. If you’re using a slow cooker, add all the soup ingredients to the pot, apart from the beans (add these for the last hour) and reduce the amount of stock to 200ml (7fl oz). Cook on high for 2 hrs. Serve in warmed bowls with the toppings.
PER SERVING: 190 calories, 10.5g fat (2.5g saturated fat), carbohydrates, 19g
Healthy ingredient Halloumi with Tomatoes & Mint ServeS 4 Q 250g (8oz) halloumi, sliced Q 4tbsp olive oil Q 1tbsp chopped fresh mint, and a few whole leaves Q Â˝ fresh red chilli, finely chopped Q 2 garlic cloves, crushed Q 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
Marinate the halloumi with 1tbsp of the oil, chopped mint and chilli. Mix together the remaining oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar and season. Dress the tomatoes and whole mint leaves and arrange them on 4 plates.
Grill the halloumi on a BBQ or griddle for 1 min on each side until golden. Serve with the tomatoes and mint leaves.
PER SERVING: 316 calories, 27g fat (12g saturated fat), 7g carbohydrates
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Are You Drinking too much? What you need to know about alcohol consumption such as atrial fibrillation, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, bone-thinning osteoporosis, epileptic fits, as well as liver cirrhosis/failure, and acute/chronic pancreatitis.
Signs that someone is drinking too much
lcohol in moderation does have some positive effects. It can relax, de-stress and make us more sociable, and in small amounts it may even have some health benefits, including reducing a woman’s heart attack risk. But we can slip from ‘low risk’ to hazardous, harmful or problem drinking almost without noticing. And that can have some huge repercussions for our overall health.
Short-term risks Apart from the unpleasantness of a hangover (sweating, palpitations, headache, nausea, lethargy and muscle aching from chemicals/toxins as our livers metabolise the alcohol) we are more likely to have an accident or even die if we drink too much. We may also become verbally or physically
aggressive, break the law, embarrass ourselves on social media or damage our relationships.
Long-term damage Our skin becomes red and puffy, and alcohol calories may make us gain weight or eat unhealthily. We also become prone to many serious diseases, although they take years to develop. Even lower alcohol intakes are linked to many cancers, including mouth, throat, breast, and gullet (drinking at guideline level increases breast cancer risks by 16%) and higher levels increase bowel and liver cancers. Drinking too much is also linked to abnormal heart rhythms,
You may notice that they (or you) are regularly drinking more than the guidelines – for example, every day, earlier in the day, ‘extras’ between rounds, or binge drinking – even if they don’t seem to get hangovers. They may appear depressed (a common cause AND effect of drinking too much), irritabl and/or anxious, sleep poorly, go off sex, have accidents, neglect themselves and their responsibilities, drink-drive, or have money, work or relationship problems. But they may get angry if asked or criticised about their drinking, feel guilty, hide the empties, or make repeated attempts to cut down.
They may also be misusing painkillers, antidepressants or illegal drugs.
Getting help The most important step is to admit there’s a problem – you can change yourself but you can’t change other people. Keeping a drinking diary can reveal how much you’re drinking, when and what factors affect it. You can track how many units (and calories) different drinks contain at drinkaware.co.uk. You can get help and support from your GP, who can carry out physical checks, help you with mental health problems and/ or refer you to local alcohol support services. You and your family can also find support and advice at nhs.uk and alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk (free helpline, 0800 9177 650). And try, try, try again – giving up often takes more than one attempt, so don’t despair if you’ve already tried and ‘failed’.
Alcohol Guidelines (for both men and women)
l It’s safest not to drink regularly more than 14 units per week, to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level. l If you do drink as muc m h as 14 units per p week, it’s best to spread this eve e nly over thre t e days or mor m e. One or o two heavy drin d king
sessions increase your risks of death from long-term illnesses, accidents and injuries. l The risk of developing a range of illnesses (for example, breast cancer) increases with any amount you drink on a regular basis l If you wish to cut down, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week. WW Healthy Living 57
WhAt iS it? As cells move up from the deepest levels of our skin into the top layer, they bring water to hydrate and plump. Eventually these cells reach the very top, protective layer of your skin, forming a barrier. This layer helps to keep moisture within your skin and prevent bacteria and toxins getting in. If it gets damaged, say, from too much sun exposure, the water in the skin evaporates and that’s when it gets dry and dehydrated.
Yournew sKin saviours If a summer spent in the sun has left your skin feeling parched, we have the solution to all your problems...
rom dark spots and brown patches, to dull, dry skin, summer can be a tricky time for your face. If all you want is a complexion that doesn’t need 58 WW Healthy Living
a lot of make-up to cover up those imperfections, we’ve got the lowdown on everything you need to know about tackling summer-weary skin, so you’ll be looking peachy again in no time...
hOW tO tAcklE it? Ensure you’re consuming enough water. Dermatologist Dr Howard Murad advocates ‘eating our water’ through fruit and veg with a high-water content to keep your skin plumped and hydrated. Munch on things like melon, peppers and citrus fruit. You also need to replenish skin with water on the outside. Look for moisturisers with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in the body, as well as glycerine.
try SiMPlE kiND tO SkiN rEPlENiShiNg rich MOiSturiSEr, £4.29, which combines pro-vitamin B5 and glycerine for a moisture hit that won’t leave your skin greasy or shiny.
try NEutrOgENA hyDrO BOOSt WAtEr gEl MOiSturiSEr, £12.99,
contains a powerful dose of hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated all day long.
Pigmentation & age spots MurAD rAPiD AgE SPOt cOrrEctiNg SEruM, £70, muraduk.com, is pricy, but the revolutionary scientific formula fades age spots in as little as six weeks and works just as well as more powerful lightening try creams that are usually only available on prescription from a dermatologist.
try thE BODy ShOP VitAMiN c glOW-PrOtEct lOtiON SPf 30, £15, protects against free
radicals and uV rays, as well as giving your complexion a radiance boost.
WorDs: sArAh Cooper-WhiTe. MAiN phoTo: GeTTy
WhAt iS it? As we get older, not only does collagen production slow down, the skin’s shedding process also becomes more irregular and this can lead to a thinning of the skin’s plump living layers and a thickening of the dead, dry top layers. Result? Dull, blotchy, flaky skin. hOW tO tAcklE it? Regular exfoliation helps to remove some of this dead skin build-up. Look for skincare ingredients such as vitamin C, fruit enzymes, alpha and beta hydroxy acids that penetrate your skin deep down to loosen the glue-like substances that hold skin cells together, shedding the top layer of dull, damaged skin. Depending on the strength of the peel, you might feel a mild tingling as the product gets to work.
WhAt iS it? Caused by sun exposure, those ultraviolet rays penetrate deep into your skin creating uneven clusters of darkness, not just on your face but on your shoulders, decollete and hands too. The more you expose your skin to the sun, the worse it will get over time and can be seriously tricky to shift.
hOW tO tAcklE it? If you notice patches of darkening skin, then look for products that contain skin lightening ingredients such as kojic acid, arbutin, bearberry extract, Rumex and vitamin C. They won’t get rid of the marks altogether but will help to fade darker areas of skin the longer you use the cream. Most work by inhibiting the enzymes that produce melanin (the skin pigment) and by increasing the turnover of the skin to flush out existing pigmentation.
AVON ANEW PErfEct SkiN DAily SkiN BOOStiNg SPlASh MASk, £12, avon.uk.com, is a 15-second
Ways To Keep Your Glow For Longer! Not ready to say goodbye to that mood-lifting summer glow? try these radiance boosters to keep that golden skin tone just a little longer…
fAkE it Tan fading fast? Give it a boost with JAMES rEAD SlEEP MASk fAcE grADuAl tAN gEl, £25, BOOtS A real treat for your skin, it deeply nourishes while you sleep so in the morning it looks plumped AND glowing. ENhANcE it AutOgrAPh luxE Multi BrONzEr, £12.50, M&S has flecks of shimmering multi-toned powder to enhance your best bits. sweep over your neck, decollete and cheekbones.
AhA mask, using glycolic acid to smooth and hydrate your skin to leave it looking radiant.
try cliNiquE frESh PrESSED rENEWiNg POWDEr clEANSEr With PurE VitAMiN c, £24
these one-use sachets with a wateractivated powder mean fresher ingredients that pack a powerful punch, brightening your skin without drying it.
highlight it higlOW high iNtENSity By rOchEllE huMES glOW DrOPS, £7.99, SuPErDrug Add a few drops to your foundation to give an all-over radiant glow or apply on your cheekbones for a bronzed sheen where the sun naturally hits them.
Technology Making You Ill? Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones explores the effect our hi-tech gadgets are having on our health and wellbeing
martphones, tablets, laptops, and ‘smart’ (internet-connected) TVs, domestic appliances and even central heating systems have opened our lives to a wonderful world of information, entertainment and convenience. But they’ve brought with them a new range of medical conditions, as our minds and bodies struggle to keep up. Here’s how to avoid some of them.
Cybersickness You may experience ‘digital motor sickness’ if you watch a lot of fast-moving or virtual
reality programmes, films or games. Like seasickness (or the off-balance sensation felt by pilots using flight simulators), this is thought to be a mismatch between what we’re seeing, our body movement, and balance sensors. Our brains struggle to make sense of it all, with the result that we feel nauseated. Women, and people who have migraine may be more prone, and the sensation may ‘hang over’ after prolonged exposure, causing potential problems with focussing, hand-eye coordination, or even driving. Avoidance is the best option – there’s even a website to tell
you which films may be a problem! (See moviehurl.com.) If technology at work is affecting you, ask what adaptations can be made.
Repetitive strain injury
Overusing or straining our muscles and their tendons while using a keyboard, game controller or other equipment inappropriately can lead to problems with our hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders. Initially you may notice mild pain, soreness, stiffness, cramp, weakness or numbness/pins and needles when using the
equipment, but persistent or frequent overuse can lead to constant pain and swelling. Try applying ice (wrapped in a tea towel) for 15 minutes, four times a day, and using antiinflammatory gel or tablets
Neck and spine problems
Viewed sideways, our spines should look like the letter S, but slumping over our desks or tablets turns them into Cs and strains their supporting muscles, ligaments and joints. Constantly looking down at our phones, or tucking them under our necks, can also strain our necks, or trigger ‘tech neck’ – a permanent skin crease and sagging lower facial muscles. And if we already suffer from wear and tear or other spinal problems, we may develop a trapped nerve with pain or pins and needles/numbness in an arm or leg; this should
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always be assessed by a doctor. For ‘perfect posture’, sit at a desk of the correct height – your arms should be able to rest naturally on the surface with your computer directly in front of you. Your ankles, knees and hips should be at right angles (you may need a footrest), your back should be well supported, and your screen should be slightly lower than your eye line, so your head is slightly tilted downwards – beware craning your neck to compensate for bifocals. Take a few minutes’ break to stand up and do some stretches every half hour or so.
such as ibuprofen and/or a wrist support. If this occurs at work you can ask for an ‘ergonomic assessment’ (as you can for spinal problems) to see what adjustments can be made to your working environment, for example, your chair, keyboard, mouse, wrist rest and so on. At home you can experiment yourself, and/or consider voice recognition software, shortcut keys on your keyboard, or ‘mousetool’ software to reduce clicking. If it doesn’t settle you may need physiotherapy or a steroid injection.
Cyber stress Technology can be addictive – adults as well as teenagers constantly check their phone messages and emails, and surf the internet for work, shopping, holidays, games or downloading music and videos. This affects our concentration and perhaps work performance (we’re so
easily distracted!), as well as our relationships. ‘Phubbing’ (phonesnubbing) tells other people they’re not as interesting as our phone, and we may miss important conversations, or irritate others. Being ‘constantly on’ for work is becoming increasingly stressful for many employees and the self-employed who may be expected to ‘jump to it’ whenever they receive an email or text message, and can’t or daren’t ignore them, day or night. And a crammed email inbox acts as an everlengthening to-do list. Cope by managing your time and communications. Voice recognition on your phone or laptop can speed up laborious typing. An electronic diary means you can check dates on the spot. Unless emails really need immediate attention, turn
off the ping and look at them in batches, once or twice a day. And deal with them – they either need action (do it), keeping (create a folder system and move them as they arrive) or dumping (do this immediately – and unsubscribe from mailing lists you no longer want). New, complicated or dysfunctional technology or software can be stressful too, so take time to learn, or find an alternative.
Too many ‘friends’
Checking and replying to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, online dating and other accounts can be timeconsuming and distracting (especially if you’re not quite confident in using them!). FOMO (fear of missing out) is another 21st-century problem, and even though we know that people often post stuff that is
trivial, exaggerated or untrue, we may still feel inadequate, left out or lonely. But joining in and revealing personal details can expose us to the nastier side of life such as financial scams, or online bullying or trolling – comments designed to wind other people up. Do you really need all these people and their comments or should you restrict the numbers? Make sure you have good anti-virus software and spam filters and never open an email from someone you don’t know, or a link you don’t recognise. Never reveal or confirm personal security details. Contact your bank on a different phone if you suspect fraud and use the telephone preference service to block cold-callers. And if you, or someone you know is being bullied or threatened, talk to a trusted friend or even the police if necessary.
Going to bed with your head buzzing can stop you dropping off. Light from various devices (including e-reader books) can also confuse the part of our brain that thinks we should be asleep because it’s dark. Deal with anything important at least an hour before bed, so your mind can wind down. Stop checking your phone/computer or playing screen games. Silence email and message ‘pings’ and don’t be tempted to check your device before sleep or in the night – turn it off, or cover the screen if you intend to use it to generate sleep-inducing music or white noise.
6waYs Tech can IMprove our healTh l Wearable gadgets, such as step-counters that help us to monitor and improve our habits. l Online access to our own GP’s medical records, for appointments, prescriptions and test results.
l Machines that go beep, such as pacemakers, life support systems, complex scanners, and remote heart monitoring. l 3D printing – this growing area is already producing dental crowns, hearing aids,
custom-built artificial limbs and other prosthetics. l Health information and education online,but pick a reputable source such as nhs.uk. l Meditation or mindfulness apps can help us de-stress.
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Fabulous 62 WW Healthy Living
Oily fish are packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
Good for your heart Baked Lemon & Dill Salmon with Potatoes SERVES 4 Q 750g (1lb 10oz) baby new potatoes, halved Q 1 red onion, sliced Q 6 salmon fillets Q 2 lemons Q 2tbsp chopped fresh dill Q 2tbsp olive oil
Put the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water. Cook for 5 mins to soften. Drain the potatoes and tip into the base of an ovenproof dish. Scatter over the sliced onions. Sprinkle with salt.
Top with salmon fillets, season with black pepper. Slice 1 lemon, arrange the slices over the salmon. Scatter with dill, then squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon over the fish. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 20 mins – the fish and potatoes should both be nice and tender when they come out of the oven.
Per ServinG: 526 calories, 28g fat (5g saturated fat), 32g carbohydrates
Portuguese Sardines & Onions SERVES 4 Q 1 large onion, sliced Q 1 red onion, sliced Q 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped Q 2tbsp white wine vinegar Q 2tbsp olive oil Q 1 garlic clove, crushed Q 8 fresh or frozen sardines,
gutted, scaled and rinsed
Mix the both types of onion, chilli, vinegar, olive oil and garlic together. Season with salt and pepper and leave to marinate for 10 mins. Tip the onions and juices on to a large sheet of foil and
twist the edges together to seal. Place on a hot barbecue for 5 mins (alternatively cook the foil parcel in the oven at 200°C or Gas Mark 6 for 15 mins). Season the sardines with salt and freshly ground pepper and cook on the barbecue with the onion parcel
for a further 5-8 mins or on a griddle pan, turning once. Serve the sardines on a platter with the onion mixture and juices from the parcel over the top. Per ServinG: 241 calories, 15g fat (3.5g saturated fat), 6g carbohydrates WW Healthy Living 63
Teriyaki Tuna with Stir-fry Veg ServeS 1 Q 1tbsp teriyaki marinade Q 125g (4½oz) fresh prime tuna steak Q Frylight extra virgin Olive Oil spray Q 150g (5¼oz) stir-fry vegetables 64 WW Healthy Living
Q ½tsp sesame seeds Q 1tsp soy sauce, to serve Q Coriander leaves, to serve Massage the marinade thoroughly over the tuna and set aside to marinate for about 1 hour. Arrange on a
foil-lined grill rack and grill the tuna for 2-3 mins each side. Meanwhile, spray a wok with 5 squirts of oil and quickly stir-fry the vegetables over a medium-high heat for 2-3 mins until just tender. Pile on to a warmed plate with the
tuna, then scatter sesame seeds on top and serve drizzled with soy sauce (if desired) and coriander leaves. Per ServinG: 242 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 10g carbohydrates
Good for your heart Malaysian Mackerel Curry ServeS Q Few squirts Frylight Sunflower oil Q 1 large onion, sliced Q 2-3tbsp rendang curry paste Q 24 curry leaves (optional) Q 400ml (14 fl oz) can reduced-fat coconut milk Q 2tsp tamarind paste Q 2tbsp tomato purée Q 1 or 2 bird’s-eye (hot) chillies, deseeded and kept whole Q 6 baby aubergines, quartered, or 1 aubergine, cut into chunks Q 175g (6oz) okra, topped and tailed Q 600g (1lb 5oz) prepared mackerel fillets Q 4 tomatoes, quartered Q Coriander leaves, to serve Heat oven to 200°C or Gas Mark 6. Squirt a large pan
with Frylight, add the onion and fry gently for a few mins to soften, making sure that it doesn’t burn. Add the curry paste and curry leaves, if using, and gently fry for 2 mins. Pour in the coconut milk, 200ml (7fl oz) water, the tamarind paste, tomato purée, chillies, aubergines and okra. Allow to simmer for 15 mins. Arrange the mackerel fillets snugly side by side in a roasting tin. Pour over the curry sauce and then tuck in the tomato quarters. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20-25 mins. Garnish with the coriander leaves, to serve.
Per ServinG: 534 calories, 38g fat (12.5g saturated fat) 9g carbohydrates
Trout & Grapefruit Salad ServeS 2 Q 250g (9oz) baby new potatoes Q 100g (3½oz) green beans, trimmed Q 2 trout fillets Q Watercress Q 1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented Q ½ shallot, finely chopped Q 1tbsp red wine vinegar Q 2tbsp olive oil Q 2tbsp black olives, pitted and roughly chopped in a saucepan, cover the potatoes with lightly salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for around 15 mins. Add the beans for the final 3 mins, by the end of which both
vegetables should be tender. Set the grill to a high heat and, on an oiled baking sheet, lay the trout fillets skin side up for 6-8 mins until the skin looks crispy and the fish feels firm. remove and discard the skin. Put the new potatoes, green beans, watercress and pink grapefruit into a large bowl together. Flake the fish into the bowl Prepare the dressing of shallot, vinegar, oil, chopped olives and some seasoning in a small bowl. Mix well and then drizzle over the salad to serve.
Per ServinG: 434 calories, 21g fat (2g saturated fat), 26g carbohydrates WW Healthy Living 65
Feeling breathless le es
What shortness of breath might mean – and what you should do about it...
The symptoms See your doctor who will ask what makes you breathless – how far can you walk before it comes on and can you
6 Tests You May Need
A chest X-ray, and/or CT, magnetic resonance or nuclear scan to show lungs and heart. ‘Blowing performance’ tests, such as peakflow rate or spirometry. A heart electrical tracing (ECG) and/or echocardiogram (ultrasound scan). Blood tests for anaemia, infection, allergies, inflammation and oxygen/ carbon dioxide levels. A bronchoscopy and/or gastroscopy – telescope examination of the lungs and/or stomach. An angiogram – dye is injected into an arm artery to reveal blockage in coronary arteries.
66 WW Healthy Living
continue, or does it start if you lie down or wake you up in the night? Do you feel or sound wheezy/tight-chested, or get more chest infections than you should? Do you always have a cough, or has a new one lasted more than three weeks? Do you have any shoulder/chest pain, or have you coughed up any blood? Have you noticed palpitations (rapid/irregular heartbeat), dizziness, ankle swelling, unexpected weight loss or undue tiredness? She’ll also ask how long you’ve had it, whether it’s getting worse, whether you’ve smoked or worked with asbestos/other chemicals, and whether heart or lung disease run in your family. She may refer you for urgent tests within two weeks.
Lung problems More adult women than men have asthma; tiny lung airways become inflamed, irritable and easily narrowed, often triggered by smoke, pollen or other allergy-causing substances. Uncontrolled asthma can cause severe wheezing and breathlessness and is occasionally fatal. Fortunately, it’s usually controlled by inhalers that open airways and relieve inflammation. Chronic obstructive airways disease (COPD) is also linked to smoking, and produces a winter or persistent cough, phlegm and progressive breathlessness. Some people eventually need oxygen
therapy, but stopping smoking, medication and breathing ‘rehabilitation’ can significantly improve quality of life. Over 45,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the UK and women have caught up with men. Sadly many are diagnosed too late, perhaps mistaking it for a ‘smoker’s cough’. And as many rarer lung diseases can often be helped, it’s important not to blame symptoms on getting older.
Heart problems Coronary heart disease, heart muscle abnormalities, heart failure (impaired pumping) and abnormal heart rhythms can all cause breathlessness and coughing, and exist side by side with, or be made worse
by the strain of lung disease. It may be hard to disentangle heart and lung symptoms, so you may need extra tests (see ‘6 Tests You May Need’, left).
Other causes Being overweight is probably one of the commonest – carrying extra weight makes us puff and restricts breathing by squashing our diaphragms. Anaemia makes blood ‘thinner’ so it can’t carry as much oxygen and has to work harder. This may be due to iron or vitamin deficiency, bone marrow problems, heavy periods, or internal bleeding into the tummy or bowel. Stomach acid can also reflux back up your gullet if you have a hiatus hernia, and spill into the windpipe triggering a recurrent cough.
t’s normal to get breathless when we’re exercising – it brings more oxygen into our lungs, where it attaches to red blood cells and is pumped by the heart to body tissues. Anything that hinders this process, such as cancer, can produce unexpected breathlessness and/or coughing during everyday activities. But cancer, isn’t the only, or even the commonest, cause.
Coming Next Issue Living series
It’s what your wellbeing’s been waiting for… ✤ Build your immunity What you need to do now to stay healthy all winter
✤ How safe is HRT? The latest lowdown
✤ 10 ways to cut your stroke risk ✤ Food allergies? Your must-read guide
✤ 20 quick-fix health solutions ✤ How to cope after a serious illness PLUS
✤ Good-for-you recipes ✤ Age-defying beauty tips ✤ And… expert updates on: Breast cancer Liver disease Loneliness
Ask your local newsagent to keep a copy for you, or even deliver it to your home with your newspapers.
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