Eastern Courier : January 13th 2016
20 EASTERN COURIER, JANUARY 13, 2016 Your health WITH AUTHOR AND NUTRITIONAL BIOCHEMIST DR LIBBY The importance of sun and sleep NewZealand’s favourite wellbeing expert, Dr Libby, answers readers’ questions about living a healthier life. I’ve been told to take a vitamin Dsupplement. What does vitaminDdo andwhycan’t I get it throughmydiet? Thanks, Justine Hi Justine. Over the winter months it is particularly difficult to obtain adequate vitaminDas we often find ourselves wrapped upwarmwith little exposure to the sun. As the sun’s action on the cholesterol in our skin is our major source of vitamin D, it’s important to spend a little time each day exposed to the sun and to up our intake from food sources. VitaminDis an important nutrient for bone health, immunity, cancer prevention and mood regulation. It supports the uptake of calcium and phosphate which are bone strengthening minerals, especially in growing children and the elderly. Teens accrue about 50 per cent of their adult bone mass between the ages of 12 and 18, so adequate vitaminDis of particular importance during these years too. While wenormally synthesise the majority of our vitaminD from the sun through our skin, we can get some from oily fish, organic butter, and eggs. It is an important nutrient to have tested so you know when it is appropriate to take a supplement. I amgoing through a period where I’mnot sleeping well and I knowit’s influencingmy health. What are your tips to helpmeget more rest? Thanks, Sharon. Hi Sharon. There are a few things I link to amazing health. Optimal nutrition of course, fresh air, movement, love, and great sleep. In fact, improving the quality of your sleep will significantly improve all aspects of your health. Sleep is often the only time our bodies are able to access a part of our nervous system responsible for rest and repair. Sleep is critical for skin regeneration, immunity, hair growth, nail growth and all other non-vital processes the body will not prioritise during the day, particularly when under constant stuff.co.nz Getting plenty of sun year round is essential to our vitamin D intake. Sleeping is good, too. Breath is one of the most AskDr Libby Email your questions for Dr Libby to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, only a selection of questions canbe answered. stress. Often forgotten but crucial to deep sleep is the minimisation of caffeine. It can take the body up to eight hours to clear caffeine – so think abouthow manycoffees, teas, colas and/or energy drinks you consume per day. essential factors in regulating the balance of your nervous system. Long, slow belly breathing expands the muscles in your diaphragm, stimulating the relaxation response. Try focusing on your breath anytime you feel overwhelmed. Or better still, create a regular diaphragmatic breathing ritual to help keep your responses calm. Whenwefeel overwhelmed, planning tends to go out the window, but organisation is precisely what you need. Community cookbook NADIA LIM IN ASSOCIATION WITHMY FOOD BAG Nadia’s steak and fries Hailing from the province of Bearn in France, this creamy sauce marries well with beef. Add some veges and hand-cut fries and you’ve got a delicious, easy, weeknight meal. PEPPERED STEAK WITH HAND CUT FRIES, BEARNAISE SAUCE AND VEGETABLES SERVES 4 -5 Hand-cut fries 800g potatoes, scrubbed 1 tablespoon olive oil Peppered steak 2 teaspoons oil 600g beef steaks, at room temperature (eg rump, sirloin, scotch teaspoon crushed mixed-colour peppercorns fillet) 1 ⁄2 Vegetables 1 teaspoon oil 1 teaspoon butter 1 head broccoli, cut into florets 250g button mushrooms, cut into quarters 1 ⁄4 cup bearnaise sauce, to serve (store bought) Method Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. If you plan on barbecuing the steaks, pre-heat the hotplate and grill. Cut potatoes into long, thin (1–2cm thick) fries. Toss with olive oil on prepared tray, season with salt and bake for 25–35 minutes until golden and crispy. Turn once during cooking. When potatoes have about 10 minutes cooking time remaining, Bearnaise sauce can transform the traditional favourite of steak and chips. heat oil in a large fry-pan on medium to high heat. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and crushed peppercorns. Cook for about 2 minutes each side for medium-rare (depending on thickness) or until cooked to your liking. Remove and rest for 5 minutes then slice into thick slices. Alternatively, rub steaks with oil and cook on BBQ grill. Heat oil and butter in same pan used for the steaks. Stir-fry broccoli and mushrooms until just cooked, 2–3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Alternatively, cook on BBQ hot plate. To serve, place some fries, beef and vegetables onto plates and drizzle with bearnaise sauce. PHOTO: MY FOOD BAG Each week Nadia gives you another easy recipe for your family and you’ll find all the ingredients in My Food Bag. myfoodbag.co.nz Photo: 123RF.COM Relaxation needs to be scheduled just like any other appointment in your diary. Set up a sleep routine, such as turning the lights down low, avoiding anyTVthat upsets, and embracing a diaphragmatic breathing ritual, and notice the difference inhow rested you feel. ❚ Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional.
January 8th 2016
January 15th 2016