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28 Apr - 04 May , 2012
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HEALTH AND FITNESS
Smart Eating(by NESHMIA)
Smart EatingEat for a healthy mind, body and soul

ASPARAGUS
Bring the taste of spring to your plate with asparagus – and boost your heart health and immune system, too!
A bed of asparagus takes three years to produce a crop and the quality declines within a couple of seasons, which is why this delicacy of the vegetable world is pricey. But it's packed with antioxidant vitamins E and A and iron, so you get a lot of nutritional ASPARAGUSbang for your buck.

5 Ways To Try…..
1. Wrap It Up: Wrap two or three cooked spears in a bundle with smoked salmon and slices of soft mozzarella cheese.

2. Soldier On: Dip steamed or blanched spears in the yolk of soft boiled eggs. Or use as a crudite for salsa or smoked fish.
3. Spring Risotto: Pre-cook the asparagus, then use the water as a stock base for creamy risotto. Serve with parmesan cheese.

4. Perfect Pasta: Try copped, roasted or steamed asparagus and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and some diced chilli.

5. Superfood Salad: Toss roasted asparagus in mustard and vinegar. Add a hard-boiled egg and marinate it in garlic and herbs.

Health Benefits
Fights Cholesterol: Saponins are phytonutrients found in asparagus that bind with 'bad' cholesterol, preventing it from clogging your arteries and reducing the risk of heart diseases.
Boosts Immune System: Asparagus contains a starch that can't be digested called inulin. However, good bacteria in the gut feeds on it, helping bolster the immunity.
Heart Healthy: It's rich in folate, which is recommended during pregnancy to help prevent birth defects. It can also bring down levels of homocysteine. High levels of this amino acid are a risk factor for heart BARLEYdiseases.

BARLEY
Once dismissed as a food of the poor, barely is having a well-earned revival – even with the fanciest of foodies.
If you thought that barley was only good for soups and stews, think again. This highly versatile kitchen staple, with its deliciously rich and nutty flavour, is perfect for summer dishes, too.
It is a rich source of vitamin B, vitamin E, selenium, calcium and contains iron. It's also a great immune system booster and is one of the few grains to contain beta-glucans, a soluble fiber that helps lower bad cholesterol (known as LDL or low-density lipoprotein). Better still, it has a low glycaemic index (GI) so it will keep you fuller for longer by avoiding steep rises in blood sugar.
You can use pearl barley to add a creamy richness to soups or to bulk out and bind burgers for the barbecues and meat loaves. For a refreshing summer drink, make your own barley water: put 50g of pearl barley or barley flakes into a jug with 1 tablespoon of sugar and the juice of a lemon. Top with 300ml of boiling water. When cold, simply strain and refrigerate.

CINNAMON
Cinnamon is one spice almost everyone has in their kitchen cupboard. Whether it's used to create hot, delicious, apple cider on a cold winter day, or is added to toast with butter and brown sugar, it actually has several health properties we can all benefit from, while making our food taste (and smell) CINNAMON extraordinary. As a flavouring agent, cinnamon is preferred for adding spice to sweet dishes and baked goods, like apple pie and sticky buns, but it is also used to spice meats and whole grain dishes (rice), and create fragrant curries. It's emerging as a true wonder food in terms of health protection.
Research has linked the copper-coloured stuff with helping lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes. A recent study has found that adding a little more than a teaspoon of cinnamon powder to rice pudding even helped tame blood sugar in people without diabetes. It also contains polyphenols, antioxidants that create healthier arteries and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, cinnamon's benefits include an energising scent that has also been found to help increase alertness.
Best Part: Cinnamon is easy to add to food you already eat and makes everything taste better. Both ground and stick forms are equally healthy, but sticks have a longer shelf life (one year, compared with 6 months for ground). No need to grind your own: Pre-ground store-bought cinnamon is as good as fresh ground and saves the hassle.

19 Fitness Facts
Simplify and de-stress your life with these wellness pointers

Here are some pearls of wisdom that might just pump in more adrenaline to your motivation level.

1. Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.
2. It is not that some people have will-power and some don't. It is that some people are ready to change 19 Fitness Factsand others are not yet ready.
3. It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.
4. Someone who is busier than you is exercising right now. Why don't you?
5. For every one pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn an extra 50 calories per day.
6. Add weight training or resistance training to your workout routine and burn extra calories all day long.
7. To work out your core today hold a plank for 30-60 seconds.
8. Check your technique don't hyperextend your knees during squats, lunges and other leg exercises. Always keep your knees soft.
9. Starvation, fasting or low-calorie diets don't work! You will lose muscle and energy. Instead opt for a balanced diet full of nutritious ingredients, eating little and often.
10. Try to add movement into your daily activities such as going for a walk at lunchtime, jogging on the beach after work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
11. Overtraining can put stress on your muscles causing injuries, sprains or fatigue. Take care to train often but make sure you take rest days as well.
12. Make sure you set up a good playlist for your workout to help keep you motivated.
13. Never skip breakfast! If you do, your body will run low on sugar levels and you will be more likely to opt for sugary snacks and caffeine.
14. A healthy breakfast should contain protein plus carbohydrates in addition to fiber.
15. Green tea offers a milder caffeine kick and fat-burning antioxidants making it an ideal drink to consume during the day.
16. Breathe. Spending a few minutes a day focusing on your breathing can help lower your risk of developing heart disease.
17. To get healthy bones increase your levels of vitamin D intake each day.
18. Avoid drinking fizzy drinks/sodas, even if they are diet. Instead, opt for water, herbal teas or natural fruit juice.
19. Cycling burns over 500 calories an hour. Try an rpm class as well for a serious cardio workout.



 
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