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Newsletter. Issue 2006-07. April 01, 2006
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Health & Wellness

Go Mad For Mangoes  

It's half-time, you're out of breath and in serious need of an energy boost. Time to tuck into the oranges.
Or is it?
It's been the footballer's food of choice for years, but it looks like our favourite citrus fruit could be in for a spell on the bench. On in its place comes an exotic new talent from the far east. Full of flair and bursting with energy, this fruit is certain to give its team-mates a lift.
And its name? Mangifera indica - the mango.
New research has found the tropical fruit to be the ultimate half-time reviver.
It has three times as much carbohydrate (the body's main energy source) as oranges and gets energy to the muscles a fifth faster.
But don't just think about mangoes at half-time. This extremely tasty and versatile fruit can be eaten before or after any sport, and as part of your breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.
Or how about making a smoothie?
Mix up your mango with a banana, some raspberries and a dollop of low fat fromage-frais and you've got a delicious drink rich in slow release fruit sugars - the perfect energy boost!
Here's what you need:
1 mango, peeled and stoned
75g/3oz raspberries
1 banana
200g/7oz low-fat fromage-frais, or 150g/5oz natural or soya yoghurt or
75ml/3oz cold milk
Puree the whole lot together until smooth and drink.
The BBC food website has loads of other great ideas for mango-based meals.

Good drinks, bad drinks
This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/s1592547.htm]
by Peter Lavelle
Published 16/03/2006

A hundred thousand years ago, the choice was simple when it came to a drink ? there was no choice. It was water or nothing.

What a different world we live in today. Diet soft drinks, ice teas, fruit juices, coolers... Every year, about 1,000 new beverages come onto the market, targeting our rising incomes and our innate fondness for anything sweet.

And they're changing they way we get our nutrients. Over the past 20 years, we?ve added between 630 kilojoules (150 calories) and 1260 kilojoules (300 calories) to our daily diet ? and half of this additional amount is from drinks. About 20 per cent of our total energy intake now comes from beverages.

Not only are they high in calories in themselves, but drinks don't make us feel full the way food does; we keep consuming them and end up with a higher kilojoule intake overall.

It's a big reason why, as we reported last week, 62 per cent of Australian men and 45 per cent of women are overweight or obese.

Still, we have to drink or we'll dehydrate and die. So what should we be drinking? Are all drinks bad for us? What?s safe and what isn?t? A panel of US researchers reviewed the available medical literature on drinks and health benefits (or harms) in an attempt to answer this question.

They looked at the energy intake, the nutrient content and any health benefits (or drawbacks) of a range of popular drinks and ranked them from best to worst. They published their findings in the latest American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Water the winner

Top of the list is water, they said. It has no kilojoules at all - though no nutrients either, but that's not a problem. Ideally, we'd drink only water and let the nutrients come from a balanced food diet. This was, after all, how our bodies naturally evolved.

How much water? There's no recommended amount. Drink when you feel thirsty, the researchers advise. It's almost impossible to drink too much ? the kidneys excrete the excess out almost straight away.

But water is also tasteless and it's not much of a reason to get together with those old friends. ?I know a great little garden tap? isn?t much of an invitation. What about the alternatives?
Next best, from the point of view of health is tea. Both black and green tea contain antioxidants and studies have shown them to lower the risk of heart disease and possibly cancer.

Coffee is also high on the list ? it appears to lower the risk of diabetes (decaffeinated coffee does too, so it's not the caffeine that's responsible). Coffee might also lower the risk of bowel cancer. But too much caffeine can increase the risk of heart disease ? less than 400 mg a day (which equates to four or five cups) is safe.

Adding milk, cream, and/or sugar means added kilojoules and fats and pushes both tea and coffee further down the list, however. It's best taken black
Low fat milk

Next on the list are low fat milk products; low fat (1.5 per cent or 1 per cent) and skim milk. They're a good source of protein and of calcium and Vitamin D ? a high milk intake is associated with strong bones and is recommended for kids and for older women especially. Full cream milk on the other hand is high in calories and saturated fat and has been linked with heart disease and should be avoided, the researchers say.

Next comes diet soft drinks ? drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners rather than sugar. They do help people lose weight, compared to sugary soft drinks, the research suggests. There's no evidence these sweeteners are harmful, but there?s no evidence that they?re safe over the long term either.

Next ? further down on the list than you might have thought ? are fruit juices. These are high in calories; they do have some nutritional value but not much fibre - it's better to eat the fruit itself. Vegetable juices like tomato and multi-vegetable juices are a good substitute; they h

less calorie than fruit juices, but even so it's better to eat the vegetables. Smoothies are especially high in kilojoules and should be avoided.

Then there?s alcohol; and whether it?s good or bad for you depends what you drink and how much. Small to moderate amounts - one drink a day for women and two for men ? seems to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. But in large amounts alcohol causes serious disease like liver cirrhosis and cancer. Beware spirit-based coolers which are sweetened with sugars and are high in calories.

At the bottom of the list are soft drinks. They?re usually sweetened by high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose, which is high in kilojoules. These contribute dental caries, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It makes no difference whether they're fizzy or not. Sports drinks too are in this category ? they?re gaining in popularity at the expense of soft drinks, but they too are high in kilojoules and often have caffeine and other stimulants added.

So the message is; avoid soft drinks and fruit juices, and opt for water, black tea or coffee, low fat milk and a little alcohol instead
How to Lead a Stress Free Life

No matter what we do each day there is frequently something that we do that will cause us to become tense. That's what we commonly call 'stress'.

Read transcript
Why Stress Makes You Sick

Scientists have confirmed what's been suspected for years: stress makes you sick, from the common cold to cancer.

Read transcript

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