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 Avocados?

Why should you eat avocados? The avocado is one of the few fruits that contain fat and it also boasts a wealth of health-boosting properties. Discover the great benefits of avocados.

Avocadoes are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as potassium, vitamin C, E, B vitamins and fibre.

The potassium helps fight off fatigue, depression, heart disease and strokes and is vital for healthy blood pressure.

Healthy monounsaturated fat helps to raise the level of ‘good’ cholesterol while slightly lowering fatty triglycerides.

Another type of fat in this amazing food is lecithin which plays a role in improving brain function. The body does require fat to help absorb nutrients such as vitamin E, which is also an antioxidant that neutralizes the damaging effect of toxins in the body, boost resistance to infection and has anti-ageing effect.

The high content of vitamin C and E in avocado is excellent for helping to keep your skin soft, supple and healthy. Also assists in maintaining glossy hair.

Avocados contain lutein which has been known to help protect against eye problems and cardiovascular disease.

You may also find this interesting Why Should You Eat Blueberries??

Its omega-3 content helps to lubricate joints and arthritic symptoms.

You will also find vitamin B6 which is essential for helping the body to release energy from food. The folic acid promotes reproductive health.

Some people avoid avocados because they contain fat, but they are so wonderful for you.

When you are preparing your avocado be careful as the majority of the nutrients are found in the dark green flesh near the skin.

As you can see avocadoes are an amazing food and have so many health benefits and they taste good too!!!

Have an avocado today and give your body a health boost.

Karen x

Lentil Cottage Pie – Great Vegetarian Option

If you are stuck for ideas on what to cook today, this is a great alternative if you don’t eat meat or you fancy a change from meat.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1/2 red onion

1 carrot finely chopped into small pieces

1 clove of garlic crushed

1tbsp tomato puree

400g can chopped tomatoes

1tsp dried thyme

75g dried split lentils

350ml vegetable stock

white and sweet potatoes for the mash

25g cheddar cheese grated

Method

Peel the potatoes and place in a pan of water, but do not set off cooking yet.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and thyme.

Set off your pan of potatoes to cook.

Stir in the lentils, vegetable stock, then simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture is reduced and creamy.

Preheat the oven to 200 / Gas 7

Pour the lentil mixture into an ovenproof dish and spread out evenly.

Mash the potatoes and spread evenly over the lentil mixture.

Sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden.

Serve immediately with any other vegetables of your choice.

Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.

What Does Iron Do For Your Body And Why Do You Need It?

Karen x

How To Boost Your Metabolism

Your metabolism or the rate at which your body burns calories, is like an engine, for instance the more often you give it fuel the better it works. Here is some simple facts for you to consider on how to boost your metabolism. Make one or two changes a week so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up before you have started properly.

What happens when you deprive your body of food

  • Your metabolism slows down to hang on to the energy to preserve it.
  • A slowed metabolism makes it far more difficult to lose weight and much easier to gain weight.
  • An irregular eating pattern, for instance not consistent in calories and nutrition intake will lead to a more rapid loss of muscle because the body is forced to take its energy from elsewhere.
  • Muscle loss is ageing.
  • Never skip breakfast because it gives your metabolism a boost.
  • Eat to keep your energy up and your blood sugar levels on an even keel. By doing this you will avoid overloading your system and in addition you should not feel hungry and therefore shouldn’t affect your performance.
  • Chew your food slowly because this enables more nutrients to be released and in addition helps to digest food.
  • Eating slowly helps you feel fuller faster and will help prevent overeating. When you eat too quickly your stomach doesn’t register that it is full until too late.
  • Replace normal dinner plates with a smaller one this will enable your portion sizes to go down, but your plate still looks full.
  • Try not to eat on the run. Sitting down to eat a meal means you enjoy your food more and you avoid upsetting your digestion.
  • Go to bed early because people who don’t have enough sleep have lower levels of leptin, a hormone that tells your brain you are full and higher levels of ghrelin a hormone that triggers hunger.
  • It takes 20 minutes for the stretch receptors in your stomach lining to send a message to your brain registering food.
  • You may also find this helpful. Are You Always Feeling Hungry?
  • Or this is easy to read information to help start you on your way to a healthier you The Basics Of Healthy Eating

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Do You Suffer From Urinary Tract Infections?

Do you regularly suffer from urinary tract infections?

If you have or suspect you have a urinary tract infection you need to see a doctor. If you are prone to getting them, there are steps you can take to help prevent them.

Water

Firstly drinking plenty of water throughout the day keeps urine diluted so that bacteria have less chance to group together on the walls of the urethra and cause problems. It also stimulates you to urinate more often which helps to flush the walls of the urethra where bacteria may be clinging.

Try to have 8-10 glasses of water per day.

Cranberry And Blueberry Juice

In addition research has suggested that an antioxidant compound found in cranberries and blueberries called epicatechin, may work directly on bacteria. Cranberry compounds also appear to weaken bacteria cells.

Plain Yogurt With Active Cultures

Secondly buy plain natural yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures which help keep up your guts population of good bacteria, which in turn keep bad bacteria in check.

Probiotics

Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium are best known probiotics (good bacteria) that can help support a healthy immune system. These can be bought at health food stores.

If you do suffer from urinary tract infections there is ways to try and prevent them.

Have a good day.

You may also find the link below useful.

What Happens When You Don’t Eat Correctly

Karen x

What Happens When You Don’t Eat Correctly

Eating is something we do naturally and do every day probably without thinking.

Firstly digestion begins in your mouth.

If you do not chew your food properly or eat too fast it will affect your body’s mechanism which tells you when to stop eating.

This can result in you eating too much and impact on your digestive system.

The extra quantity of food will put stress on the system and the speed you eat creates more problems for your digestive system.

Your taste buds will be overwhelmed and therefore the correct messages won’t be sent to the brain to prepare the right digestive juices to breakdown the particular food.

You might also fine this helpful. How To Stop Feeling So Tired

In conclusion stop and think when you sit down for a meal, don’t rush and chew you food slowly. I know this can be hard if you are busy working from home and sometimes feel that you can’t take a break from work.

Taking a break from your desk will help you to feel better and your body will thank you for it.

Have a good day.

Karen x