Tag Archives: carrots

Do not bring us the Figgy Pudding!

Christmas is a notorious time for overindulgence and expanding waistbands. Research suggests that weight gain over the 4 week Christmas period can be as much as 2kg, which is an awful lot of mince pies! Whilst most people do not maintain this level of overindulgence throughout the year (not to mention the New Years resolution to shift those creeping pounds) there are a few festive foods for the health conscious, which are packed with nutrition and can be enjoyed (nearly) guilt free!

1. Clementines– A popular fruit at Christmas, this little gem is packed with vitamin C, thiamin, potassium and dietary fibre. They are naturally high in sugar but swap a few mince pies for these when you crave something sweet, at only 35 calories each they are a saintly snack.

2. Chestnuts – Often overshadowed by their popular counterpart-the Brussels sprout, this nut contains high levels of vitamin C, lower fat content than other types of nut and high levels of minerals, in particular potassium. Potassium is highly rated for helping lower blood pressure (often running high in the stressful Christmas season) and heart rate.

3. Carrots– Rudolph’s preferred mid-present delivery snack. From the taproot family of vegetables, high in vitamins, minerals and beta-carotene. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body which helps with visual function and frontline bodily defense against infections and diseases. These will help keep away the dreaded ‘Christmas colds’ and other festive spirit-dampening ailments.

4. Turkey– Trussed and carved, the ultimate centrepiece for any Christmas Dinner table. Turkey is a lean meat which is low in saturated fat but high in protein and phosphorus which is essential for bone and teeth growth, not to mention it is a main component of every body cell.

5. Brussels Sprouts – Either love them or hate them, this Christmas dinner Brassica is without doubt full of good things (even if they smell somewhat suspect). Sprouts contain a whole host of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin K can be found in each one of these little green machines, which has been found to help limit neuronal damage and even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s!

6. Parsnips – This taproot is a classic Christmas dinner vegetable. High in fibre( but also natural sugars) this vegetable contains folic acid, vitamin b-6 and pentathenic acid which is known for it’s stress busting properties. Perfect after slaving away in a hot kitchen with hungry mouths to feed!

7. Cranberries – This berry is often sidelined to a table sauce at Christmas, which is high in sugar but the berries themselves are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They contain Manganese, a mineral known for health benefits such as maintaining healthy bones and sugar levels, promoting optimal functioning of the thyroid and for helping the body absorb other key nutrients.

8. Cinnamon – this fragrant spice is full of antioxidants, essential oils and minerals. It has been used for centuries in medicine for its antiseptic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory qualities. It has the highest anti-oxidant level for all natural foods, combating nasty free-radicals. Cinnamon has also been found to have anti-clotting properties, helping reduce the risk of strokes and coronary disease.

9. Smoked salmon – This cured fish is a popular choice for a celebratory brunch or Christmas Party canapés. High in omega-3, this food can help with brain function, cell function and improved cardiovascular function. Other benefits from Omega-3 include improved joint operation and some research has shown it to help alleviate symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis.

Top Sight Saving Tips

Like the rest of our body, our eyes need looking after. Maintaining your eyesight is overlooked by many of us, but as we only get one set of eyes, it’s important to look after them.

There’s certainly no miracle cure to perfect vision, but we can make small lifestyle changes to help. The following tips are great ways of maintaining sharp eyesight so you keep that 20/20 vision for as long possible:

Maintain sharp eyesight for as long as possible!

Maintain sharp eyesight for as long as possible!

  • Get yourself some sunglasses – It’s important to own a good pair of sunglasses, complete with the CE mark (that’s not an excuse to buy a designer pair!). This will help to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which is one of the most popular causes of progressive blindness in over 50’s. Try to avoid buying cheap sunglasses, as these may cause more damage than you think
  • Carrots really do help – You’ve probably been told as a child that carrots will help you to see in the dark – This isn’t quite the truth. However, carrots are packed with vitamin A which is crucial for keeping your eyesight sharp. Very tasty when raw, why not substitute your usual mid morning snack with a bowl of carrot sticks?
  • Open a tin of tuna – Studies have shown that eating just one can of tinned tuna a few times a week could reduce the risk of AMD by at least 40%. If you’re not a fan of tuna on it’s own, try incorporating it into a sandwich or salad. You can’t beat a fresh tuna salad with plenty of greens, toasted seeds and a dollop of low calorie mayonnaise.
  • Get yourself moving – Exercise keeps all of us feeling alive and ready, but it can also help maintain good eyesight. Taking a walk around the block 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes has been shown to reduce intra-ocular pressure in people with glaucoma – enough to cut down taking medication entirely.
  • Take a test – People often treat the opticians like dentists, avoiding them at all costs. Its important to take a sight test at least every two years to ensure your eyes are in tip top condition.  Research has shown that some people haven’t visited the opticians in 5 years, with some people not visiting it at all.
  • Quit smoking – It’s not good for your health, nor is it good for your eyes. Kick the habit to reduce your chance of cataracts and other smoking related eye diseases.

Top grooming tips – One for the guys!

Keeping yourself looking trim and tidy has plenty of benefits, from making you feel better psychologically, to the obvious benefit of being taken seriously or physically attracted to by others. Many of us live very hectic lifestyles often not finding any “me” time, but it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to spend time on yourself. It’ll do wonders for your being both long term and short term! Who knows, if you’re single and looking you may find it increases your chances almost ten fold.

Good grooming requires a good shaving kit!

Good grooming requires a good shaving kit!

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top grooming tips:

Vegatables are your friend – It may seem an obvious card to pull, but in addition to all the vitamins and minerals, vegetables such as spinich, swiss chard and kale are packed with chlorophyll – a natural deodorant for the body. Munching on raw organic carrots can also help to keep your teeth looking clean and healthy.

After the shower is best – When you jump out of the shower or bath, your skin will be moist and more susceptible to absortion. Apply deodorants or antiperspirants at this time to ensure that the active ingredients have the best affect. Be sure to stick to alcohol free options to ensure that you don’t dry out your skin.

Look after your razors – If you find yourself constantly buying new razors for the morning shave, it may be worth introducing a small containers of mineral oil to your medical cabinet. The oil helps to stop the oxidation process that dull the edges, eventually rendering them useless. Be sure to clean the blade properly before use!

Go for the natural soothe – It may odd at first, but if your skin is easily irritated during or after a shave, try rubbing a small amount of olive oil into the affected area. If you do this before shaving, you’ll find that it helps the blade run smoothly across the skin.

Time running out? – If you need to make that meeting, or you’re late for a friend with no time to jump in the shower, here’s one that’s worked for everyone at the Healthy Hideout. Take a sink full of clean warm water and add four to five tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda, mixing throughly. Soak a clean flannel and rub yourself down before drying. It may seem desperate, but when time is of the essence it can be a lifesaver.

Keep Hydrated – It’s been mentioned plenty of times on the Healthy Hideout, but keeping your water intake regular can have a positive effect on how your skin looks. For more information, head over to our previous post “How much water should I drink a day?”