Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - This Week -

BAT­TLE BLUES: An hour of ex­er­cise per week can help pre­vent de­pres­sion, a study has found. Sci­en­tists mon­i­tored lev­els of ex­er­cise and symp­toms of de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety in al­most 34,000 Nor­we­gian adults over 11 years. They found that 12% of cases of de­pres­sion could have been pre­vented by en­gag­ing in just an hour of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity each week. Re­sults showed peo­ple who re­ported do­ing no ex­er­cise at all at the start of the study were 44% more likely to de­velop de­pres­sion than those ex­er­cis­ing one to two hours a week. The ben­e­fits did not ex­tend to pro­tect­ing against anx­i­ety, said the au­thors, whose find­ings ap­pear in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Psy­chi­a­try.

BRO­KEN FAST: Skip break­fast and you and your ar­ter­ies could be in poor shape, re­search sug­gests. A study in Spain found that peo­ple who reg­u­larly miss the first meal of the day are more at risk of the kind of artery dam­age that leads to heart at­tacks and strokes. They are also more likely to be obese and suf­fer­ing from high blood pres­sure and choles­terol than those who re­li­giously con­sume a sus­tain­ing break­fast. In ad­di­tion, blood mark­ers linked to heart and meta­bolic risk fac­tors were more preva­lent in break­fast skip­pers and lowen­ergy break­fast con­sumers than peo­ple who ate nor­mal higher calo­rie break­fasts. The re­search ap­pears in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Car­di­ol­ogy.

COLD WA­TER: Sci­en­tists have dis­pelled the old wives’ tale that drink­ing beet­root juice can warm us up. Ant Shep­herd, of the Univer­sity of Portsmouth, has led the re­search which ex­am­ined the im­pact on 13 healthy peo­ple of drink­ing the veg­etable’s juice. He found that although the par­tic­i­pants, who all suf­fer from feel­ing cold in the out­doors, reg­is­tered a rise in ni­trate lev­els, they did not have an ef­fect on the warmth of fin­gers and toes, en­dothe­lial func­tion, blood pres­sure, pain or ther­mal com­fort and sen­sa­tion. Dr Shep­herd said: “Beet­root has very high ni­trate lev­els... so we thought beet­root may make peo­ple warm up. That it didn’t could be be­cause the ni­tric ox­ide is be­ing neu­tralised or con­verted by ox­i­dants in the body, or it could be that we need to give juice over a longer pe­riod.”

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