What Can Turmeric Do For You?

Turmeric is extremely beneficial for your health.

It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and used to help treat arthritis, cardiovascular health, diabetes and neurological conditions.

The curcumin in turmeric has proven strong anti-inflammatory properties that block the action of inflammatory molecules in the body.

Curcumin gives it its vibrant colour and is a potent antioxidant that is very effective at fighting free radicals and helps protect the skin, eyes and hair. It assists in keeping them youthful which is what we all want.

It also has anti-bacterial and cholesterol lowering properties.

Curcumin can help reduce the build up of the protein amyloid-b in the brain. Amyloid-b causes oxidative (free radical) damage and inflammation in the brain and is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants in turmeric help to fight this free radical damage.

I take turmeric as a supplement and every morning I have grated ginger and 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric in boiled water using an infuser teapot.

The bright vibrant turmeric can have many health benefits.

Enjoy your day.

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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Why Should You Eat A Rainbow?

When you are eating your five a day consider how many different coloured varieties you are having. They can have so many health benefits.

Red

Red peppers, tomatoes, rhubarb, radishes, strawberries, cherries and raspberries.

These contain Lycopene which is an age defying antioxidant, that may protect cells in the prevention of heart disease, help to protect from sun damage and against certain cancers.

Yellow

Bananas, pineapples, grapefruits, squash, yellow peppers, lentils and chickpeas.

In these you will find Beta-cryptoxanthin – a phytochemical that helps with vitamin and mineral exchange between cells. They may also help to protect against rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.

Orange

Oranges, nectarines, peaches, Mango, sweet potato, satsumas, apricots, carrots, red lentils and baked beans.

Contain Alpha and Beta-carotene – this gets converted to vitamin A in the body, which is essential for vision, immune function and antioxidants. This helps protect your skin from ultraviolet damage. It is also good for bone health and builds new cells.

Purple

These include currants, raisins, plums, sultanas, prunes, blueberries, blackcurrants, blackberries, grapes, aubergine, beetroot and kidney beans.

In these foods you will find Anthocyanidin – this helps protect against pain and inflammation and may support healthy blood pressure. They may also have anti-ageing properties by preventing the breakdown of collagen in the skin.

Green

Avocado, melon, apples, gooseberries, pears, courgette, cucumber, peas, spinach, broccoli, lettuce and salad leaves, asparagus, cabbage, spring greens and kale.

These foods contain Lutein – a carotenoid that’s good for skin hydration and elasticity, and helps reduce the risk of cataracts and protects the eyes. Avocadoes and leafy greens are also rich in vitamin E which can hep prevent wrinkles and strengthen cell membranes.

As you can see it is definitely worth eating a rainbow of foods and your body will thank you for the amazing health benefits.

Karen X

Are You Struggling to Get Your 5 A Day?

Fruit and vegetables are key to a healthier lifestyle. They taste great and add variety to any meal. Your 5 a day should consist of as many different coloured varieties as possible.

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will give you plenty of vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetables are also a good source of fibre and antioxidants. All these nutrients are important for your health.

Fruit and vegetables are generally low fat, low calories food, so eating them instead of foods high in fat and added sugars gets you on your way to keeping healthy and losing weight.

Remember fresh, frozen, canned, chilled, pulses, 100% unsweetened juice and dried fruit and vegetables all count towards your 5 a day.

Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season, this means that they are not only cheaper, but tastier too.

A portion counts as 80g which is roughly a handful.

A few examples of what counts as a portion.

1 medium apple

3 celery sticks

3 heaped tbsp of canned sweetcorn

7 cherry tomatoes

1 handful of carrot sticks

1 medium banana

3 heaped tbsp of fresh or frozen peas

1/2 and avocado

3 heaped tbsp of cooked kidney beans

2 broccoli florets

2 medium plums

8 brussels sprouts

1/2 a large courgette

1 medium onion

12 chunks of pineapple

3 whole dried apricots

Here are some ideas on how to increase your 5 a day.

Have 100% unsweetened fruit juice (150ml) with your breakfast.

Snack on fruit, dried fruit or vegetable sticks mid morning or mid afternoon.

Add a side salad to your lunch.

Add an extra serving of vegetables with your evening meal.

Add tinned tomatoes to a homemade casserole.

Make homemade soup.

Make your own tomato sauce for pasta dishes, you can hide plenty of vegetables in it if you blend it.

Make your own smoothie or juice drink – just remember they count as a maximum of 2 of your 5 a day.

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