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Body & Soul: Dynamic Duo

Body & Soul: Dynamic Duo

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Body & Soul: Dynamic Duo

by Agnes Ramsay

Exercise + Nutrition = Active Immune Booster

Staying healthy throughout the winter months can be a challenge. Even if you take care to wash your hands, use an antibacterial sanitizer and get the flu shot, your immune system can always use an extra boost.

Source: bigstockphoto.com
Source: bigstockphoto.com

Keeping your body strong with proper nutrition and exercise helps to avoid illness at anytime of the year, but it is especially important during the fluctuation of weather patterns over the next few months when we’re most vulnerable to colds and flus.

EXERCISE WITH CAUTION

Exercise increases the number of white blood cells in your body, which are the body’s natural defence in fighting illness. I’m by no means suggesting strenuous exercises or that you become a marathon runner, but simply by taking a brisk 20- to 30-minute walk each day, can dramatically cut down your risk of catching a cold.

To mix it up (or if the weather isn’t conducive), alternate with going to the gym – but don’t overdo it. If you exercise to the point of exhaustion, without letting your body recover, then it becomes a negative stressor, which can compromise your health.

NUTRITION FACTS

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, is actually quite fitting. Proper nutrition helps to keep your immune system strong. If you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, you are fuelling your body with disease-fighting vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, B6, D, Folate Acid, Iron, Selenium and Zinc – all of which are widely considered to help lower the risk of a host of ailments. When you eat a variety of foods throughout the day, you have more energy to engage in physical activity, plus it keeps you in that immune boosting zone.

SOLUBLE FIBRE
oat bran
barley
nuts
seeds
lentils
citrus fruits
apples
strawberries
carrots

Source: bigstockphoto.com
Source: bigstockphoto.com

The down side of using supplements, is that you’re not getting the added benefit of fibre. The fibre content found in whole foods not only helps to keep you ‘regular’, but it also strengthens your immune system.

Insoluble fibres tend to have more-bulky traits (for staying regular), like those found in whole grains and flax, as well as vegetables like celery and tomatoes.

Soluble fibres are found in many fruits, nuts, beans and oats. They not only help to control your blood sugar and serum cholesterol, but they also help to reduce inflammation throughout your body, which helps to support your immune system.

Agnes Ramsay is a Registered Nurse, Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach specializing in Electric Muscle Stimulation Training.

agnes.ramsay@xbodyworld.com



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eNewsletter February 2017

Beans Are Really Really Good For You

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Beans Are Really Really Good For You

(News Canada) — Beans are part of the superfood family known as pulses, which also includes chick peas, lentils and dry peas. It’s commonly known that beans are good for you — but do you know how good? Here are five reasons to include more beans in your diet.

Beans may fight cancer: Research by Dr. Henry Thompson of the University of Colorado links bean consumption with the ability to fight the spread of cancer in rats. The study showed the more beans the rats ate, the greater their protection against cancer. While all the beans used in the research had some affect, white kidney beans (also called cannellini beans), in particular, had amazing results and inhibited the spread of the cancer by as much as 70 per cent.

Beans help control weight: Beans contain soluble fibre that slows down digestion, making you feel fuller longer. The World Health Organization recommends people increase their pulse consumption to help prevent obesity.

Beans help control diabetes: Research shows that bean consumption can be beneficial in the management of blood sugar levels. Beans are a great food choice for diabetics as they have a low glycemic index, are high in fibre, low in fat and include slowly digestible starches.

Beans help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease: Eating beans lowers blood glucose, insulin, blood pressure, bad cholesterol and the likelihood of obesity — all factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease if too high.

For pregnant women, beans help build a better baby: Beans contain folate (folic acid), which protects against neural tube defects and birth defects of the spine and brain, including spina bifida.

While beans are a superfood, they shouldn’t take the place of any prescription medicines you’re currently taking.

To make beans more palatable, try them in some surprisingly yummy and nutritious sweets, or mix them into a soup.

This receipe brings together two classic Canadian ingredients — white pea beans (or navy beans) and maple syrup. Don’t feel too guilty for indulging; using beans in your baking ups the protein and fibre content and adds important vitamins and minerals you wouldn’t normally find in a sweet treat.

Bean & Maple Syrup Bars
Makes: 24 bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) white pea beans, soaked and cooked or canned in water; drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) melted butter
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 oz. (60 g) semi-sweet chocolate (optional)
  • 24 halved pecans (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  2. In a food processor or mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar. Add butter pieces and pulse or cut in until crumbly. Transfer into a greased 9×13-inch pan and press evenly into bottom. Set aside.
  3. Filling: In a food processor or blender, purée beans and maple syrup. When smooth, add the eggs, sugar, and butter and blend well.
  4. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over base, then pour filling over top. Bake for 30 minutes or until set in the middle and lightly browned. Cool to room temperature.
  5. In a double boiler, melt chocolate over barely simmering water. Drizzle chocolate over bars in a criss-cross pattern. Refrigerate bars until chocolate has set. Cut into triangles and garnish each one with a pecan half.

Nutrition information (for 1 bar): Energy 271 kcal; protein 4 g; fat 14 g; carbohydrates 34 g; total dietary fibre 1.6 g; sodium 96 mg.

Creole-Style Bean Soup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) white pea beans, soaked and drained
  • 3 cups (750 mL) chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced cooked ham or smoked sausage
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) thyme
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can (19 oz./540 mL) tomatoes
  • 1 can (5 1/2 oz./156 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dry mustard
  • 1 (300g) pack frozen okra, partly thawed and sliced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) medium-sized shrimp, fresh or thawed frozen
  • 2-3 drops hot pepper sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan combine beans with broth. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer 45 minutes until beans are tender.
  2. Add ham, celery, onion, garlic, seasonings and sauces. Break up tomatoes; mix with tomato paste and mustard; stir into bean mixture. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Bring to boil; add okra and cook 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in shrimp, cook 3 to 4 minutes until shrimp and okra are cooked. Serve with whole grain bread or cornmeal muffins.

Nutrition information (for 1 serving): Energy 356 kcal; protein 28 g; fat 5.1 g; carbohydrates 53.2 g; total dietary fibre 16.3 g.

Find more recipes online at http://ontariobeans.on.ca/ www.newscanada.com

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