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.

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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

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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How To Get Your 5 A Day Every Day In An Easy Way

Do you struggle to get your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. It can be easier than you think. Firstly have a look at what you are eating each day. Secondly think how you can make small changes.

Key facts

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 varities as possible.

Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables will give you plenty of vitamins and minerals.

They are also a good source of fibre and antioxidants.

All these nutrients are good for your health.

Fruit and vegetables are generally low fat, low calorie foods.

so eating them instead of foods high in fat and added salt 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 five a day.

Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season.

This means that they are not only cheaper, but tastier too.

what counts as a portion?

If you are confused as to what counts as a portion, here are some examples.

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

1 medium apple

3 celery sticks

3 heaped tablespoons of canned sweetcorn

7 cherry tomatoes

1 handful of carrot sticks

1 medium banana

3 heaped tablespoons of fresh or frozen peas

1/2 an avocado

3 heaped tablespoons of cooked kidney beans

2 broccoli florets

2 medium plums

8 brussels sprouts

1/2 large courgette

1 medium onion

12 chunks of pineapple

3 whole dried apricots

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 afternoon

Add a side salad to your lunch

Have 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

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

There is lots of ways to get your 5 a day.

Some don’t involve any cooking and are easy to prepare.

Hope you have a good day.

Karen

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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.

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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