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

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 Feel Fuller For Longer

Do you take diet pills, appetite suppressants or slimming teas? These can take take a toll on your health. It is far better to tackle hunger pangs in a natural way. These simple tips can help in how to feel fuller for longer. You may also find this helpful Are You Struggling To Lose Weight?

Increase Your Fibre

Foods high in fibre will keep you feeling fuller for longer after you have finished your meal. Foods such as brown rice, bran, oats contain soluble fibre and therefore act like a sponge and soaks up moisture in the stomach. The fibre swells up, making you feel full, and also helps to release sugars slowly to prevent energy dips. You might like to try high fibre apples, avocados, beans, broccoli, nuts and seeds.

Eat More Protein

Do you get the 4pm dip? If you do try eating more protein with your meals. A high carbohydrate meal can make your energy and blood sugar levels peak and then trough. If you increase the amount of protein you will help your body convert carbohydrates to sugar more slowly. Healthy sources of protein include chicken, fish, chickpeas, quinoa, eggs, cheese and snack on nuts. Discover How To Get Enough Protein When you Don’t Eat Meat

pastry and boiled egg on plate
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Keep Hydrated

If you are dehydrated the brain can confuse this signal as a sign of hunger. Before you consider what you are going to snack on have a drink or water and wait 20 minutes because this make just make the hunger pang go away. Try to sip water throughout the day and aim for 2 litres.

Break Those Back Habits

Are you really hungry? When we are tired, stressed or bored we often want to eat. This is a psychological craving. Do you eat out of habit such as wanting a dessert after you have eaten your meal? When you are low on energy or feel light headed you can crave something to satisfy the need quickly like chocolate, biscuits or crisps. Having an apple or some nuts will quickly sort out the problem and it will keep you fuller for longer.

Avoid Bad Habits

Unlike healthy, unrefined carbohydrates (such as brown rice and oats), refined carbohydrates, including white bread, pasta, sweets and biscuits are high glycaemic index and release sugars into your system quickly, giving a short term energy fix. This is why you be hungry again in a very short space of time.

Make Sure You Exercise

Exercise will not make you more hungry, it will actually help to prevent cravings and curb your appetite. Exercise helps to control your blood sugar and the body’s insulin response. After you have finished exercising make sure you eat something healthy and nutritious because this will help your body recover. Why Should You Exercise?

I have found it especially hard not to start snacking on biscuits and chocolate at the moment it is far more tempting when you are at home so much.

I do try think am I just bored or am I actually hungry. Hope some of these ideas help you to feel fuller for longer.

Have a good day

Karen x

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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.

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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
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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

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Roast Chicken, Potato And Chorizo Bake

Roast chicken, potato and chorizo bake is a great choice if you are stuck for ideas on what to cook for tea because it tastes amazing and is easy to make.

I prepare it in the morning and leave it in the fridge so all you have to do is pop it in the oven when you get home from work.

I try to prepare most of my meals in the morning as I find it a lot harder to cook for scratch after a busy day. Not being prepared is when a lot of people tend choose processed foods that are quick to prepare.

Ingredients

500g baby Maris peer potatoes, evenly chopped.

2 peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks.

8 cherry tomatoes left whole.

2 red onions cut into small wedges.

200g cooking chorizo, skin removed and sliced into small chunks.

1tsp paprika.

1/2 tsp chilli powder.

1tbsp, rapeseed oil.

6 or more chicken breasts.

This is just before it goes in the oven

Method

Heat the oven to 200 / 400/ gas mark 6

Place the potatoes in a large roasting tin.

Scatter the peppers, tomatoes and onions around evenly in the roasting tin.

In a small bowl mix together the paprika, chilli powder and rapeseed oil.

Pour half of it over the ingredients in the tin and mix together to ensure it covers all of them.

Place the chicken thighs on top and drizzle the remaining oil over the top.

Cook in the oven for 1 hour and then serve.

You may also like Flatbread Pizzas With Chickpea and Basil Pesto

Hope you give it a try and enjoy.

Karen x

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How To Make Chickpea Power Salad

Looking for ideas for a different salad, then try the chickpea power Salad.

Chickpeas are a great source of energy and full of vitamins and minerals.

This recipe serves 2 people.

Ingredients

1 yellow pepper
1 can of drained chickpeas
Lettuce leaves of your choice
6 cherry tomatoes
1 clove of crushed garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp of balsamic vinegar

Method

Divide the lettuce leaves between two bowls.

Chop the tomatoes and divide between the two bowls.

Divide the chickpeas between the two bowls.

Chop the pepper and split between the bowls.

In a jar with a lid pour in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic.

Give the jar a good shake so all the ingredients mix together and share between the bowls.

You may also like to try this Easy To Make Energy Balls or Flatbread Pizzas With Chickpea and Basil Pesto

Serve and enjoy.

This is super fast to make, therefore is great to take for your lunch or a quick and easy tea.

Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.

Karen x

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