Part Two Why Should You Eat Super Foods

Hope you enjoyed reading my first blog about super foods and the amazing health benefits. Here is part two why should you eat super foods.

Dark Chocolate

Yes you really can eat chocolate!!! This treat is packed with heart protective antioxidants, as well as bone supporting minerals magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and phosphorus. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins to boost mood and motivation. Eat a few squares a day to reap the benefits, that doesn’t mean a full block.

Walnuts

Are you feeling stressed? Munch on a handful of walnuts – studies show that the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid helps your body handle stress more effectively and lower blood pressure. Walnuts provide protein, fibre, omega-3 and folate so they are an excellent little nut.

Beans And Pulses

Beans and lentils are a good source of iron and folate, which are needed for the production of healthy red blood cells and are particularly important for menstruating women, who are at increased risk of iron deficiency. They are also packed with antioxidants, fibre, protein and slow-release carbohydrates, making them a great source of energy. As an added bonus they are a good source of magnesium which is an essential mineral for energy production and preventing muscle cramps after exercise.

Avocado

Avocado’s are high in fat, but this type of fat can assist in getting you a flat stomach. They are a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fats which have been known to help disperse fat around your middle. Avocados also contain potassium, magnesium, folate, protein and cholesterol lowering plant sterols.

Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are a rich source of fibre, add one or two heaped dessert spoons of milled flaxseeds to your daily diet because this is an excellent way to ease PMS and acne. They also contain omega-3 fatty acid.

Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in plant compounds known as indoles and isothiocyanates, which have cancer fighting properties and help to eliminate excess oestrogens from the body, which are linked to some forms of cancer. Broccoli is also a PMS fighting food because it contains folate which boosts mood and calcium which helps with cramps and is so diuretic, so can help reduce bloating. It also contains vitamins A and C and iron. Aim to have two to three servings a week.

You may also find these blogs helpful How To Feel Fuller For Longer and How To Beat Cellulite

Milk

A glass of semi-skimmed milk may be the solution if you suffer from PMS and stress. It is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which together can help ease premenstrual symptoms. Milk is a source of tryptophan, which the body converts into the sleep hormone melatonin. You could try a cup of warm milk if you are prone to sleepless nights.

Bananas

I personally don’t like bananas, but if you are in need of a boost they are packed with nutrients that can help soothe and lift your mood, and are a natural source of tryptophan, which the body converts into the mood boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. Bananas are also rich in carbohydrates, making them ideal for when you crave comfort foods and they are a brilliant source of vitamin B6, which can help boost energy levels.

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Turmeric

This spice contains the anti-inflammatory ingredient curcumin, which can help ease muscles after a workout. Curcumin has been shown to protect against some cancers. You can add a tablespoon of turmeric to curries, soups an stews.

Eggs

Eggs are packed with protein therefore making them more satisfying than carbs and can promote lean muscle. They are great to have as a snack if you are feeling hungry. Also great to have for breakfast.

As you can see it isn’t that hard to include these foods in your diet and like I said in my last blog, you don’t have to include them all at one. It is worth a go if it can improve your health and how you feel. Hope you have enjoyed reading part two why should you eat super foods.

Karen x

why should you eat super foods?

Foods can have so many health benefits and help you to feel great, feel full of energy and keep you looking and feeling more healthy. Read on to find out why you should eat super foods.

Kale

It isn’t just dairy products that give your bones a boost. This dark leafy green vegetable is one of the richest sources of calcium, which is essential for bone health. Kale also contains lots of other vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and iron for energy. Kale is also great for promoting eye health because it contains lutein and zeaxanthin.

Asparagus

Asparagus is great source of folate which is vital to have if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby. It is also great for heart health and contains vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6 which are known to play a key role in your brain and nervous system healthy and combating fatigue and stress.

Berries

Berries are packed with antioxidants in particular blueberries which are a perfect anti-aging snack. They are rich in phytochemicals, known as phenolic acids and anthocyanins, they are best for fighting free radical damage. Research has suggested that blueberries can also help to fight wrinkles and contain compounds that protect against urinary tract infections. I buy frozen blueberries and add them to plain yogurt. Frozen berries are cheaper and they last a lot longer. You may find this helpful too Why Should You Eat Blueberries??

Olives and Olive Oil

Do you want to keep your skin youthful and your joints flexible, then make sure you include olive oil in your diet. One of the best sources of monounsaturated fats, Olives are also rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, which protect cells from damage that can contribute to ageing . I add a olive oil to my salads.

Oats

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome eat porridge every morning as it is rich in soluble and insoluble fibre. Oats can help to soothe an irritated gut and regulate bowel movements. They are also an excellent way to start your day because they give you energy and boost your immune system. They also contain selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin B1. Oats are packed with slow-releasing carbohydrates, helping you feel fuller for longer and making them useful if you are trying to lose weight.

Yogurt

If you suffer from thrush or other yeast infections then eating live natural yogurt every day will help to prevent them by restoring the friendly bacteria lactobacilli in your body. Probiotic bacteria have also been shown to be crucial for supporting immune health which is always an added bonus. Yogurt is rich in calcium therefore it is great for your bones. Try to buy plain yogurt as flavoured varieties can be high in sugar. You can add your own berries or small amount of honey.

Cranberries

These are evert woman’s best friend because they are known for their ability to prevent urinary tract infections, due to a substance that prevents bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract. Cranberry juice has also been shown to inhibit the bacteria associated with peptic ulcers.

Green Tea

This is one of my favourites. If you are trying to lose weight then research has suggested that drinking green tea every day, combined with exercise can accelerate loss of body fat around your waist. Green tea is rich in antioxidants that have been shown to raise metabolic rate making it easier to burn fat. It also contains theanine, a calming neurotransmitter that helps to beat stress.

Take a read about teas CAN A CUP OF TEA REALLY IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH

Cinnamon

If you are prone to dips in energy or crave energy then add this spice to your morning latte. Cinnamon helps to improve the transport of glucose to your body’s cells rather than encouraging it to be stored as fat. Its also thermogenic, meaning it helps to burn off fat. Use a teaspoon of ground cinnamon a day sprinkled over porridge or milky drinks.

Soya

Soya products are rich in phytoestrogens known as isoflavones, naturally occurring substances that modulate female hormone levels to ease premenstrual and menopausal symptoms. Rich in protein, soya is also good for building muscle and aiding weight loss. Fermented soya products such as miso, tempeh and natto are thought to be more easily digestible and contain activated isoflavones, but other forms such as edamame, tofu and soya yogurts are also beneficial.

Salmon

Wild Alaskan salmon is an essential food. It is packed with heart friendly omega 3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA which also helps to fight depression, lowers inflammation and protects against cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Salmon is a great source of protein and energy boosting coenzyme Q10. Other good fish choices are sardines and mackerel. Try to eat oily fish two-three times a week.

As you can see there is some wonderful foods that can do amazing things for your body and your health. You don’t have to change your diet all at once, just try to include some of the foods every bit helps.

More wonderful foods to come on Wednesday.

Enjoy your day and think about what you are eating today.

Karen x

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HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE CHICKEN STEW

Are you stuck what to make for tea? Sometimes trying to think of new ideas to cook can be hard especially when you are busy and lots to do therefore read on to find out how to make simple chicken stew. If you plan your weekly meals you most certainly can eat healthy meals and it makes food shopping a lot easier and quicker when you have planned your meals. Make sure you have eaten before you go shopping because it can tempt you into buying more sweet treats.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2tbsp Olive oil

1 red onion finely sliced

1 carrot finely chopped

1 leek sliced

1 red pepper finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic crushed

150ml chicken stock

400g can chopped tomatoes

1tbsp sundried tomato paste

400g cooked chicken breasts chopped into small chunks

You may also like these Easy To Make Energy Balls or Roast Chicken, Potato And Chorizo Bake

Method

Heat the oil in a large frying pan.

Add the onion, carrot, leek and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat.

Add the crushed garlic, chicken stock, tomatoes, sundried tomato paste, stir well and bring to the boil.

Cover and simmer stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.

Mix in the cooked chicken pieces and heat through for 5 minutes.

Serve with pasta, rice or quinoa.

I choose to serve mine with quinoa.

I did all the preparation for this meal in the morning therefore it was quick and easy to make for tea. I did take the easy option of using the quinoa you can buy in a packet and only requires 2 minutes to heat in the microwave because it does save time if you are in a rush.

Hope you give it a try and enjoy it, my son enjoyed it and he can be a tricky customer!!

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CAN A CUP OF TEA REALLY IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH

There are so many different teas to choose from, I have my favourites, but always love to try a new one I haven’t had before.  Some teas can be beneficial to your health so read on to find out can a cup of tea really improve your health.

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Herbal Teas

Camomile Tea

This tea is one of my favourites and I regularly drink it before I go to bed. I drink it to help me unwind, but it can also help to alleviate digestive disorders, nervous tension and irritability,  It can reduce phlegm and ease hay fever which is a big one for me at the moment.

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Cinnamon

Cinnamon tea is known to alleviate colds, flu and digestive problems.  It also has the power to settle a stomach first thing in the morning.  A great builder-upper when you are feeling weak.

Echinacea

This tea stimulates the immune system and raises the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections, allergy reliever and it is particularly good for cleaning up problem skin.

Elderflower

Try this tea for soothing and clearing chesty coughs, colds and flu.  It relives wheezy and asthmatic chests, the symptoms of hay fever and rhinitis.  It fights fever and builds up the immune system. You also find this helpful 10 ways To Help Hay fever

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Fennel

Fennel tea can help to relive bloating, soothes stomach pain, indigestion and gas. It can also be known to calm inflamed joints.

Ginger

Great for morning sickness, colds and some digestive issues such as wind, indigestion and constipation. I drank this tea a lot when I had labyrinthitis because it helped to stop the sickness feeling. This may also be helpful How To Stop Feeling So Tired

Green Tea

Another one of my favourites. I drink green tea every morning. It is packed full of antioxidants, to assist in reducing free radical damage. It does contain caffeine which is why I choose to drink it in a morning.

cups of fresh tea near tasty pastries on plate
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Nettle Tea

Nettle tea is one I tend to drink in an afternoon. This has been known to help the symptoms of hay fever which is definitely beneficial for me. It can also help ease arthritic inflammation.

Peppermint Tea

This is my go to tea for trapped wind and indigestion. It certainly works for me every time.

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There is so many amazing teas to try in the shops today, why not give them a try instead of having a cup of coffee and find out can a cup of tea really improve your health How To Boost Your Metabolism.

Enjoy your day and spend sometime outside if it sunny.

Karen X

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How To Feel Fuller For Longer

Do you take diet pills, appetite suppressants or slimming teas? These can take take a toll on your health. It is far better to tackle hunger pangs in a natural way. These simple tips can help in how to feel fuller for longer. You may also find this helpful Are You Struggling To Lose Weight?

Increase Your Fibre

Foods high in fibre will keep you feeling fuller for longer after you have finished your meal. Foods such as brown rice, bran, oats contain soluble fibre and therefore act like a sponge and soaks up moisture in the stomach. The fibre swells up, making you feel full, and also helps to release sugars slowly to prevent energy dips. You might like to try high fibre apples, avocados, beans, broccoli, nuts and seeds.

Eat More Protein

Do you get the 4pm dip? If you do try eating more protein with your meals. A high carbohydrate meal can make your energy and blood sugar levels peak and then trough. If you increase the amount of protein you will help your body convert carbohydrates to sugar more slowly. Healthy sources of protein include chicken, fish, chickpeas, quinoa, eggs, cheese and snack on nuts. Discover How To Get Enough Protein When you Don’t Eat Meat

pastry and boiled egg on plate
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Keep Hydrated

If you are dehydrated the brain can confuse this signal as a sign of hunger. Before you consider what you are going to snack on have a drink or water and wait 20 minutes because this make just make the hunger pang go away. Try to sip water throughout the day and aim for 2 litres.

Break Those Back Habits

Are you really hungry? When we are tired, stressed or bored we often want to eat. This is a psychological craving. Do you eat out of habit such as wanting a dessert after you have eaten your meal? When you are low on energy or feel light headed you can crave something to satisfy the need quickly like chocolate, biscuits or crisps. Having an apple or some nuts will quickly sort out the problem and it will keep you fuller for longer.

Avoid Bad Habits

Unlike healthy, unrefined carbohydrates (such as brown rice and oats), refined carbohydrates, including white bread, pasta, sweets and biscuits are high glycaemic index and release sugars into your system quickly, giving a short term energy fix. This is why you be hungry again in a very short space of time.

Make Sure You Exercise

Exercise will not make you more hungry, it will actually help to prevent cravings and curb your appetite. Exercise helps to control your blood sugar and the body’s insulin response. After you have finished exercising make sure you eat something healthy and nutritious because this will help your body recover. Why Should You Exercise?

I have found it especially hard not to start snacking on biscuits and chocolate at the moment it is far more tempting when you are at home so much.

I do try think am I just bored or am I actually hungry. Hope some of these ideas help you to feel fuller for longer.

Have a good day

Karen x

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Roast Chicken, Potato And Chorizo Bake

Roast chicken, potato and chorizo bake is a great choice if you are stuck for ideas on what to cook for tea because it tastes amazing and is easy to make.

I prepare it in the morning and leave it in the fridge so all you have to do is pop it in the oven when you get home from work.

I try to prepare most of my meals in the morning as I find it a lot harder to cook for scratch after a busy day. Not being prepared is when a lot of people tend choose processed foods that are quick to prepare.

Ingredients

500g baby Maris peer potatoes, evenly chopped.

2 peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks.

8 cherry tomatoes left whole.

2 red onions cut into small wedges.

200g cooking chorizo, skin removed and sliced into small chunks.

1tsp paprika.

1/2 tsp chilli powder.

1tbsp, rapeseed oil.

6 or more chicken breasts.

This is just before it goes in the oven

Method

Heat the oven to 200 / 400/ gas mark 6

Place the potatoes in a large roasting tin.

Scatter the peppers, tomatoes and onions around evenly in the roasting tin.

In a small bowl mix together the paprika, chilli powder and rapeseed oil.

Pour half of it over the ingredients in the tin and mix together to ensure it covers all of them.

Place the chicken thighs on top and drizzle the remaining oil over the top.

Cook in the oven for 1 hour and then serve.

You may also like Flatbread Pizzas With Chickpea and Basil Pesto

Hope you give it a try and enjoy.

Karen x

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