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

http://inspiretonourish

10 ways To Help Hay fever

Hay fever can be a problem for so many people including myself, so here is 10 ways to help hay fever.

I start as soon as the tree pollen starts which can be as early as the end of March, this is then followed by grass pollen and therefore can continue through until the end of July.

Getting hay fever under control is so important because otherwise it can take over your spring and summer.

butterfly perched on flower
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hay fever is caused when pollen grains land on membranes of your nose, eyes and throat and your immune system sees it as a foreign substance and produces an antibody that triggers the release of the chemical histamine.

This causes typical symptoms of sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, itchy throat, sinus congestion and coughing.

Completely avoiding pollen is just about impossible, so what can you do to help……..

10 Ways To Help Hay Fever

  1. A strong immune system will assist in helping your body cope with hay fever, so try to build it up by giving your body all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements it requires. How To Help Your Immune System
  2. Eat a well balanced diet which includes five or more portions of fruit and vegetables. How To Get Your 5 A Day Every Day In An Easy Way
photo of vegetable salad in bowls
Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

3. Iron and zinc are also important for boosting the immune system there for include red meat, leafy vegetables and wholemeal bread. Zinc can be found in chicken, eggs and nuts.

4. Omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as oily fish, flaxseed, walnuts and pumpkin seeds have been shown to help reduce inflammation, therefore it may also help reduce hay fever symptoms.

5. Eating a Mediterranean diet has been associated with helping hay fever symptoms. This includes whole grains and lots of fruit and vegetables. Less read meat, include some dairy products, olives and olive oil.

6. Studies have suggested eating probiotic bacteria can help improve the reaction to grass pollen, therefore try plain live yogurt.

7. If you are drying washing outside, make sure you bring it in before evening. If you are really suffering with hay fever avoid drying any washing outside especially bedding.

8. Keep your windows closed so pollen cannot get into your house.

9. Have a shower before you go to bed so you wash off any pollen before you get in bed.

10. Try putting some Vaseline just inside the bottom of your nostrils to help stop pollen going up your nose.

Hope some of these ideas work for you and help relieve the symptoms of hay fever.

Karen X

https://www.instagram.com/inspiretonourish/

Which Foods Can Help With Anxiety?

Anxiety levels can be especially high with the current situation. There is things you can do to help ease these feelings. One quick way that you can start straight away is to look at what you are eating and think about the effects the food can have on your body. When you are feeling worked up or stressed it can be easy to grab something sweet like a chocolate bar. We have all been there including myself. It might help initially, but not in the long run it will only leave you feeling worse. I am not saying never have a chocolate bar if you are feeling worked up as this would be unrealistic, just try not to do it on a regular basis.

There are some foods that can help in supporting the overall health of your nervous system.

Eggs

Eggs are fantastic and a great protein source. They are a low GI food so they can help to keep your blood sugar stable. They are also a good source of choline which is important for memory and learning.

Berries

Blueberries and blackberries are a very rich source of a group of compounds called flavonoids. These have been shown to have great effect on the cardiovascular system and, as such, may have a positive impact upon the brain. Berries cause blood vessels to relax, by stimulating the production of a chemical called nitric oxide by the vital inner skin that lines all of our blood vessels. The nitric oxide then causes the muscular walls of the blood vessels to relax, which makes the vessel wider.

Kale

Kale is one of the greatest leafy vegetables. It is very dense in magnesium, which can have a relaxing effect on the nervous system and the muscles so can really assist in relaxation during a time of high anxiety. Kale also contains iron and vitamin C so there’s an added bonus.

Cocoa

Yes you can eat chocolate!!!!! Well its the cocoa that is good for you especially for the health of your nervous system and for making you feel good. Cocoa is another good source of magnesium that can help you feel relaxed.

Lentils

Lentils are an excellent source of most of the B vitamins, so provide a multitude of benefits for the brain and nervous systems, regulating many of their important functions.

Salmon

Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids that support the health and functioning of the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is involved in the immune system.

Mackerel

Like salmon, mackerel is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and also contains selenium.

Quinoa

Quinoa has a very low impact on your blood sugar and contains a substantial amount of protein. Protein further slows down the release of sugars from its own carbs.

Spinach

Spinach is a good source of magnesium and non-haem iron, both of these minerals are essential for the healthy functioning of the nervous system.

As you can see there are some foods which can have great benefits and can really help your body and how you feel. They are not difficult foods to incorporate in your daily diet. You don’t have to change it all at once, try adding one food each week. Small changes are easier to manage and don’t make you feel overwhelmed.

Karen x

How To Help Your Immune System

This so important at the minute!!!

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.

Don’t forget to keep drinking water. I start the day with a cup of boiled water and finish the day with a cup of boiled water with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey.

Karen x

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