Why I Have Been Eating Brazil Nuts…..

It’s not often that I get ill, in fact I haven’t had a day off sick for over 3 years, but just before Christmas I got acute bronchitis and it absolutely floored me to the point I was in bed for days. This is so unlike me and I found it so frustrating not being able to anything that I usually do. When I look back I had been having a bit of a stressful time just before I got ill, so this probably impacted my immune system and it made it more difficult for me to fight the illness off. So now I am on a mission to boost my immune system. This is where the Brazil nuts come in.

It Only Takes Two Brazil Nuts

What Can A Brazil Nut Do For You

Eating just two Brazil nuts does equate to around 90 calories, but this nut is also a heavy weight when it comes nutritional value. They are loaded with healthy polyunsaturated fats and are the richest and most reliable food source of selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system’s antibody response. Selenium has also been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, and also plays a part in reducing allergies and inflammation.

Brazil nuts also contain Vitamin E which works along side selenium to provide a super-boost to the immune system and also contain Vitamin B1 which is essential to the nervous system. In this little nut you will also find Iron and Magnesium.

All you need to have is just two Brazil nuts a day to give you your required intake of selenium per day. They are a great little protein snack and give you an energy boost. Instead of grabbing a chocolate biscuit with your brew mid-morning have two brazil nuts instead. Your body will thank you for it.

Have a nice evening.

If you want some more information on how to give your immune system a boost click the link to my previous blog.

How To Give Your Immune System A Boost

Karen x

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How To Give Your Immune System A Boost

Do you seem to be catching every bug that is going around at the moment?

There is a lot of bugs going around.

Your immune system can weaken at times, but you can give it a good boost!!

So here is what you can do to help………

Protein

Protein is the building block for many of the immune system’s key players such as antibodies and the white bloods that search out and destroy germs. Many protein foods are great sources of zinc, iron and many of the B vitamins which are essential for a strong immune system.

Make sure you are eating lean meat, chicken, fish, legumes, eggs, yogurt and other foods that are high in protein.

Pumpkin Seeds

Just 1/2 a cup of pumpkin seeds contains around 5mg of zinc, which one of the most vital nutrients for overall immune function. You can roast pumpkin seeds in the oven for 15 minutes at 150.

Brazil Nuts

These are a fantastic source of the immunity-supporting anti-oxidant mineral selenium. When you are low on selenium your white blood cells are slower to kill off microbes. Selenium also protects from free radical damage. Getting enough selenium rejuvenates immune cells so they are able to fight off the germs. All you need to have is 1 or 2 brazil nuts per day. If you are catching cold going then increase slightly.

Yogurt With Active Cultures

About 70 per cent of your body’s immune cells reside in the gut, so it just goes to show that a healthy gastrointestinal tract means a healthy immune system. Make sure you check the label on the yogurt for Lactobacillus acidophilus friendly bacteria. The more friendly bacteria you have, the less likely you are to be attacked by the nasty bugs. If you buy a live plain yogurt it will be low in sugar as well.

Cup Of Tea

The majority of us like a good cup of tea and now you have a reason to have one. If you haven’t tried green tea or you have and don’t like it, well this might just change your mind. Green tea is a major store house of immunity-boosting compounds including antioxidants like EGCG. Even black tea appears to have some immunity-enhancing properties.

Garlic

A very good friend of the immune system is garlic especially when you eat it raw. It has strong antibacterial properties. It is also good at fighting viruses. Its sulphur compounds are rich in antioxidants. Chop or crush your garlic and let it stand for 10 minutes to fully release the compounds healing potential.

Fruit And Vegetables

Eat a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables as they are a powerhouse of antioxidants, substances that our immune systems need in vast quantities especially when we are unwell or under stress. Stress and sickness increase the body’s production of the rogue, cell-attacking molecules known as free radicals. the damage these do makes us more susceptible to infections, which then means more free radicals. Antioxidants help break this cycle. Try to make sure you have a variety your immune system will thank you for it and so will your bosses when you aren’t always off work with illness.

As you can see it is definitely worth thinking about what you are eating and especially at this time of year when most people are busy and there is bugs everywhere you go.

Also don’t forget if you get bugs in your household make sure you regularly clean door handles and items such as TV remotes. Always have Dettol wipes at the ready!!

Karen x

Do You Get Those Annoying Cracks In The Corner Of Your Mouth?

Those annoying Cracks and sores in the corner of your mouth can be a sign that you are deficient in vitamin B2.

Other symptoms of vitamin B2 deficiency can include the following:

Inflamed tongue and lips.

Bloodshot eyes, tired eyes or the feeling of grit under your eyelids.

Scaling skin around the face.

Oily hair or hair loss.

Sluggishness, dizziness and insomnia.

Causes Of Deficiency:

Poor dietary habits.

Alcohol.

Contraceptive pill

Smoking

Main Food Sources Include:

Milk and milk products

Yeast extract

Cheese

Organ meats

Eggs

Legumes

Mushrooms

Watercress

Cabbage

Asparagus

Brewers yeast

So if you are suffering from those annoying sores and cracks in the corner of your mouth or any other symptoms then it could be of benefit for you to take a look at your dietary habits. Do a food diary and see if you are consuming any foods that contain any vitamin B2 and if not look at ways to include them in your diet.

Karen X

The Basics Of Healthy Eating

Smart Nutrition can make all the difference

There is so much nutrition and healthy eating advice around and it can get confusing and overwhelming. I always try to keep it simple. I tend to judge mine off that I must be doing alright as I very rarely get ill, my weight generally stays about the same which I do think gets harder as you get older. I think my skin and hair tell a lot. I have had problems with my hair falling out in the past and that has linked to when I have had things going on in my life oh and the years of straightening which I am currently trying to correct with the curly girl method. Anyone with naturally curly hair will feel my pain!! When you turn 40 you get the lovely little letter in the post asking you to go for a health check. I must admit I did feel a bit nervous about this as it was kind of a way of proving if what I say and practice works. I passed with flying colours and don’t have to have another until I am 45 so a bit to go yet.

Drink Lots Of Water

Anyway back to the basics of healthy eating. One of the things I go on and on about is drinking water. This is the easiest and cheapest change you can make. I don’t drink bottled water so just turn on the tap. Dehydration will impact your performance in your daily life and if you work out in the gym – research indicates that 5% dehydration can lead to 30% drop in function. This can also affect the way your body stores fat and repairs muscles. Water benefits your body so much, I will go into that more another time so moving on.

Eat Your Greens

Try to include some colourful vegetables in every meal. There is no such thing as too many vegetables. They are packed with vitamins, phytochemicals and fibre and will fill you up without sending your calories soaring. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower are ideal, although dark green leafy vegetables like spinach are also excellent. Regardless of what else you are eating your plate should be about half full of vegetables at every meal. If you have a child that isn’t keen on vegetables hide them in sauces by blending them. Its amazing what you can get away with by hiding them in a tomato based sauce. Mash a bit of swede in with your potatoes. Fruit is also excellent for you, just be aware of the sugar content (fructose) I would try to limit to two or three pieces a day.

Pack The Protein

Protein is one of the most important components of the diet – it’s crucial to building muscle, keeps you feeling full, helps repair tissue and the immune system. It also provides energy. Aim to eat a wide variety of protein foods to get the full range of muscle-building amino acids – lean meat, fish, eggs and dairy produce are excellent sources of protein. Protein can also be found in nuts, seeds and beans. Include a fist-sized amount of protein at every meal.

Include Energy Fuelled Carbohydrates

This is always quite a hot topic as many people who are trying to lose weight want to massively reduce their carbohydrate intake. It is your choice, but I personally really like my carbs and its all about which carbohydrates you consume. Carbohydrates form the foundation of a healthy diet, providing a readily available source of energy. Carbohydrates are broken down by our bodies into glucose for energy and they come in two forms – complex carbohydrates which are known as the slow releasing form. Foods containing these are whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruit. These slow down the release of the sugar/glucose into the blood stream. Simple carbohydrates known as the fast releasing ones are found in sweets, biscuits, cakes and refined flour, white pasta. So it is about choosing the right ones and I am not saying never eat cake again as I couldn’t do that, its about moderation.

Don’t Avoid Fats

Although it might seem contradictory to eat fat when you are trying to lose fat, dietary fats are by no means bad. The ones to avoid or reduce are trans fats, aim to keep your saturated fat intake low. This means being aware of how many cakes, biscuits, red meats and cheese you have. The fats you need are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, found in olive oil, nuts, seeds and oily fish. These include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which have been proven to aid strength and aerobic training, protect the body from injuries and help it recover from wear and tear.

Stay Natural

This is the simplest rule when deciding what to eat, keep it natural. Processed foods – biscuits, cakes, ready meals, fizzy drinks, crisps are mostly high in calories, but low in essential nutrients, so they are poor at refuelling, but good at increasing your weight and zapping your energy. Try to avoid foods containing preservatives and things you can not spell is an easy way at looking at it or things that you wouldn’t keep in your kitchen. Eat things that will rot eventually, so you know they are fresh. As a general rule, if it grows in the ground or used to have a face its fine. If it comes in a packet be wary. Don’t beat yourself up if have an odd ready meal I am realistic and understand how busy some people are. This is when preparation works well.

To Conclude

As you can see it isn’t difficult I don’t count calories, but I am aware I do need to burn off what goes in and if more goes in than what I burn off then my weight will go up. I try not to eat late and I do try to do some form of exercise each day and some days this can be just 10 minutes hula hooping or 15 minutes of yoga. Every little bit counts. I am not into gyms and never have been, but some people going to a gym gives them focus and motivation it’s whatever works for you.

Karen x