Saturday, 14 October 2017 / Published in Health & Wellbeing

Use Wholegrain Flour

As with bread, using wholegrain flour instead of white flour will help to increase the fibre content and make your baking feel more substantial and filling. The flavour will be slightly different – some people say it tastes a bit nutty. If you want a more subtle flavour, you can try using half wholegrain and half white flour.

Be Careful With The Sugar in Baked Goods

Did you know that you can leave out one-third to one-half of the recommended sugar in the recipe for most baked goods? Try it this week and you will be surprised that it will come out right without affecting the texture or taste. You will end up with a healthy version of the same baked good.

Add More Fruit & Veg

There might not be enough in a portion to count as one of your 5-a-day, but it’s a nutritious way to help keep your cakes and scones moist. And by using sweet vegetables such as carrots, beetroots or courgettes, or fruit such as apples, berries or pineapples, you won’t need to add so much sugar.

Eat well, live life, enjoy!

Saturday, 14 October 2017 / Published in Health & Wellbeing

There are many tips and tricks as to how to lose weight, how to eat better and make smarter health choices in life, but there is one major secret that many overlook: setting realistic goals.

While many set out to lose weight with good intentions and a strong desire to win, most fall short simply because of discouragement. This happens mainly when goals are just too unrealistic. There is a wise saying that states how many of us overestimate what we can do in 30 days, while underestimating what we can do in a year. In the health & wellness game, slow and steady always wins the race. It is all about consistency, desire & longevity. This is no shortcut, shortcuts will always cut you short!

Learn To Set Realistic Goals

One of the most important ways to succeed at weight control is to establish realistic goals and expectations.
Goal setting keeps you motivated and helps you stick with your program, so it’s important to approach it with a thoughtful plan. It’s important to set goals that you can reach and suit your lifestyle. You can always reassess goals and set more challenging ones as you go along.

You might have a combination of goals: your weight-loss goal, your health goals, your exercise goals or your daily servings and calorie goals. 

You must make your goals your own and stay with it. The more aligned they are with your likes and dislikes, your preferences and priorities, the greater your chances of success.

All the best!

Saturday, 14 October 2017 / Published in Health & Wellbeing, Uncategorized

Your body, and especially your liver, makes all the cholesterol you need and circulates it through the blood. But cholesterol is also found in foods from animal sources, such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Your liver produces more cholesterol when you eat a diet high in saturated and trans-fats.

The body’s levels of cholesterol — a waxy, fat-like substance found in all your cells — can tell you a lot about your future heart health. Since having high cholesterol doubles your risk for heart disease, it’s important to take steps for prevention and treatment.

You can’t live without cholesterol. We’re born with cholesterol in our bodies, and infants get more from their mother’s milk; in fact, cholesterol is even added to baby formula. Cholesterol is essential because all of our hormones and cells need it to function properly. It’s also a building block for all of the body’s cells, and it helps the liver make acids that are required to process fat.

Sweating can raise your good cholesterol levels. Aside from eating a healthy diet, including foods like heart-healthy salmon and avocado, you can raise your HDL levels — which protect against heart disease — by working out. The key is to use interval training by exercising at a medium-intensity, sprinkling in bouts of high-intensity.

Watch out for cholesterol-free food. Cholesterol is made by the liver of animals, and it will only be found in animal-based foods, such as meat, milk, and eggs. Certain products can honestly state that they have little or no cholesterol—however, that doesn’t mean they are good for your cholesterol levels. Many fried foods and commercial baked goods contain cholesterol-raising trans fats, most commonly in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Trans fats, along with saturated fats, are the main culprits of high cholesterol from food, but they won’t be listed as cholesterol on packaging.

Read ingredient lists and nutrition labels carefully, looking at fat content as well as the cholesterol content, before deeming a purchase a healthy choice.

Women’s cholesterol levels fluctuate over their lifespan. Though women tend to have lower cholesterol levels than men, they may experience a roller coaster ride in levels throughout their lives. During pregnancy, a woman’s cholesterol levels rise, which is thought to help babies’ brains develop. And cholesterol-rich breast milk is thought to be heart-protective for babies as they age. Post-pregnancy, cholesterol levels should return to normal, says Kopecky. But after menopause, women’s LDL cholesterol levels go up, while protective HDL levels decline. By age 75, women tend to have higher cholesterol levels than men.

If you have sky-high cholesterol, it may be partly genetic. But for some families, it’s inevitable that LDL, or bad cholesterol, will be in the unhealthy zone. The disease, known as familial hypercholesterolemia, affects about 1 in 500 people and can cause total cholesterol levels from 300 mg/dL to 600 mg/dL, as well as heart attacks early in life.Some people with familial hypercholesterolemia inherit two defective genes (one from each parent)­, a much rarer condition that affects 1 in 1 million people; they can have total cholesterol over 1000 mg/dL. Such high cholesterol can cause early death, often before age 20.

Everyone knows that high cholesterol is bad, but very low cholesterol can be unhealthy too. Experts recommend that you keep your total cholesterol under 200 mg/dL, which is about the average for adults. However, below a certain level—generally 160 mg/dL—low cholesterol is associated with health risks, including cancer. Do the health problems cause low cholesterol, or vice versa? Are they even unrelated? It’s not clear. Research shows that some pregnant women with low total cholesterol are more likely to give birth prematurely. Low total cholesterol and LDL levels have even been linked to anxiety and depression.

 

 

Saturday, 14 October 2017 / Published in Health & Wellbeing

One of the best things you can do for your eyes is to eat a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, but also low in saturated fats and sugar. Along with the vitamins, you should be sure to take in adequate amounts of the minerals zinc and selenium, both of which help protect the retina – the light sensitive part of the back of the eye. You also need some fatty acids – usually from fish – to ensure adequate moisture in your eyes. Ask your family doctor if taking food supplements containing these substances is right for you.

Here are six great foods that help you see clearer & have better vision:

Almonds – Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role as an antioxidant in the body. Vitamin E benefits include protecting the heart, eyes and more.

Fatty fish – Tuna, salmon, and mackerel

Citrus fruits & berries – Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is abundant in vegetables and fruits. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, it helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin.

Leafy greensLutein, nicknamed “the eye vitamin,” is a type of carotenoid antioxidant that is most well-known for protecting eye health

Eggs – especially the yoke – Lutein, nicknamed “the eye vitamin,” is a type of carotenoid antioxidant that is most well-known for protecting eye health

Carrots – Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin, and more. 

More than 25 million people worldwide are affected by age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, which according to the American Optometric Association is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55. These diseases are often caused by oxidation and inflammation of the eyes, but research has found that foods rich in the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases. Other studies have found that a diet rich in vitamins C and E, beta carotene, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids can also prevent age-related eye diseases.

 

Saturday, 14 October 2017 / Published in Health & Wellbeing

Detoxifying parsley lays the base of the greens, while a scoop of quinoa and diced avocado provide over 60 percent of your daily recommended fiber. With hydrating cucumbers and refreshing tomatoes added to the mix, this salad would be a lovely light lunch to pack for work.

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup quinoa
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, washed and chopped, thick stems removed
  4. 1 cucumbers, peeled in strips, seeded, and diced
  5. 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  6. 1 ripe and slightly firm avocado, diced
  7. 2 or 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  8. Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil.
  2. Stir in quinoa, cover, and lower the heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Put quinoa into a medium-size mixing bowl, and cool.
  4. Add parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, and oil to quinoa. Mix, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Saturday, 14 October 2017 / Published in Health & Wellbeing

Learning to incorporate dark, leafy greens into the diet is essential to establishing a healthy body and immune system.

 

Greens help build your internal rainforest and strengthen the blood and respiratory system. Leafy green vegetables are also high-alkaline foods which may be beneficial to people exposed to higher amounts of pollution in urban areas.

 

The alkaline minerals in our bodies are used to neutralize acidic conditions caused by the environment. Green vegetables will help to replenish our alkaline mineral stores and continue to filter out pollutants.

 

Nutritionally, greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals.

 

Some of the benefits gained from eating dark leafy greens are:

  • Blood purification
  • Cancer prevention
  • Improved circulation
  • Immune strengthening
  • Increased energy
  • Improve organs function
  • Clearing of congestion in lungs
Saturday, 14 October 2017 / Published in Health & Wellbeing

Ten tips to weigh less

Tip Number One: Feed your soul with primary food. Friends and family, physical activity, spirituality, and a satisfying career feed us. Lack of primary food creates over-reliance on secondary, edible food.

 

Tip Number Two: Drink water. Most people are chronically dehydrated. We often mistake thirst for hunger. If you feel hungry between meals, drink a glass of water before giving into cravings. Limit liquid calories from soda and juice.

 

Tip Number Three: Eat a plant-based diet. Plant foods are typically lower in fat and calories and higher in filling fiber than meat, dairy, and processed foods, while providing loads of essential nutrients.

 

Tip Number Four: Chew your food well. Digestion begins in the mouth. By thoroughly chewing your food, your body will better assimilate nutrients; you will also slow down your eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that it is full. By slowing your eating, you’ll feel full and satisfied on less food.

 

Tip Number Five: Eat real food. Avoid products with high-fructose corn syrup or a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. They tend to be highly processed, lacking the nutrients your body needs, and are often loaded with empty calories.

 

Tip Number Six: Do Not Skip Breakfast. Skipping meals causes your blood sugar levels to peak and dip, affecting your energy and moods. It can also cause overeating later on because you’re so hungry.

 

Tip Number Seven: Eat mindfully. Turn off the TV. Get away from the computer. Sit down and savor the food you are eating with no distractions.

 

Tip Number Eight: Get moving. Do any type of physical activity every day. Find movement or exercise you enjoy. Remember that you cannot exercise your way out of bad diet.

 

Tip Number Nine: Sleep, rest and relax. When you are sleep-deprived or stressed, your body will crave energy, causing cravings for sugary snacks and caffeine as an energy boost.

Ten Number Ten: Schedule fun time. Boredom and stress can lead to overeating. Make sure to take time to laugh, play, and participate in activities that bring you joy.

Saturday, 14 October 2017 / Published in Health & Wellbeing

Legumes are great sources of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Different varieties contain varying amounts of these nutrients, with beans, nuts, peas and lentils all having unique nutritional profiles. Although these foods are a staple of vegetarian diets, non-vegetarians can also benefit from eating more legumes. For example, replacing red meat with a serving of black beans lowers your fat intake while boosting your fiber and protein intakes.

Different types of legumes
Introduction

Legumes is basically a family of vegetables or plants that feature a pod with seeds inside it. These seeds are sometimes referred to as pulses or edible seeds. Legumes include peas, beans, peanuts, and lentils. The richness of legumes in vitamins and minerals is the top reason why legumes are commonly used in cooking or in making salads. Here are some of the health benefits of legumes that you need to know.

This group of plants are known as excellent source of both protein and fiber. Protein is found in every cell of our bodies. As the building block of human body, protein is needed in various body processes. This is primarily because protein is the second most abundant chemical in the body next to water. It regulates metabolism and cell division. One cup of legumes, as among top sources of protein, contains 33% of the daily recommended allowance (DRA) for women and 27% DRA for men.

Aside from protein, legumes are also rich in fiber. Fiber is essential for the body to balance the blood sugar and lower the cholesterol level in our bloodstream. It also prevents constipation.

Legumes are also abundant with vitamins and minerals, which is why they are widely used in soups, salads, and smoothies.

Beans

The most common varieties of legumes are beans. These include adzuki beans, black beans, soybeans, anasazi beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans and lima beans. These foods are high in protein and carbohydrates but low in fat. For example, 1 cup of cooked adzuki beans contains 17.3 grams of protein, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 294 calories and only 0.2 grams of fat. In comparison, 1 cup of cooked chickpeas contains 14.5 grams of protein, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 269 calories and 4.3 grams of fat. Because of their assortment of flavors and textures, a mixture of lightly-seasoned, cooked-then-cooled beans makes a flavorful, nutritious and filling salad.

Nuts

Some legumes are inappropriately called “nuts.” The most common example is the peanut, with other examples including soy nuts and carob nuts. Similar to other nuts, these legumes contain high concentrations of protein, fat and carbohydrates. For example, 1 cup of dry-roasted soy nuts contains 68.1 grams of protein, 37.2 grams of fat, 56.3 grams of carbohydrates and 776 calories. One cup of dry-roasted peanuts is much lower in protein and higher in fat, with 34.6 grams of protein, 31.4 grams of carbohydrates, 854 calories and 72.5 grams of fat. When eating soy or peanuts, choose dry-roasted and unsalted varieties to avoid the high fat and sodium content of oil-roasted, salted nuts.

Peas

A number of legumes are labeled as peas, including green peas, snow peas, snap peas, split peas and black-eyed peas. Similar to beans, peas contain high concentrations of carbohydrates and protein but little fat. For example, 1 cup of boiled green peas contains 8.6 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 134 calories and 0.4 gram of fat. Split peas contain higher concentrations of protein and carbohydrates but a similar amount of fat. One cup of boiled split peas contains 16.4 grams of protein, 41.4 grams of carbohydrates, 231 calories and only 0.8 grams of fat. As most varieties have a naturally sweet flavor, peas are great as a side-dish, snack, addition to a stir-fry or topping on a salad.

Lentils

Legumes that are classified as nuts, beans and peas are approximately spherical in shape. With their flat, round shape, lentils differ from this general pattern. Whether yellow, orange, green, brown or black, the nutritional profile of lentils does not change with their color. However, sprouted lentils differ from non-sprouted lentils in their nutritional content. One cup of uncooked sprouted lentils contains 6.9 grams of protein, 17.1 grams of carbohydrates, 82 calories and 0.4 gram of fat. As they are much denser, non-sprouted lentils provide larger amounts of these nutrients. One cup of uncooked, non-sprouted lentils contains 49.5 grams of protein, 115.4 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fat and 678 calories. Although the non-sprouted variety is more common in cooked dishes, both varieties can serve as the basis for Indian dhal curries.