Tag Archives: food

Powerful Punchy Pumpkin Seeds

Maintaining a healthy diet is just as important as exercise when it comes to practicing a healthy lifestyle. Many of us are looking at new ways of introducing healthy super foods into our diets, but as our days become busier and schedules become booked up, it’s easy to pick up the wrong kind of snack foods. Say no to doughnuts and crisps and grab yourself a handful of powerful punchy Pumpkin seeds.

Not only are they deliciously more-ish, they’re easy to transport around with you during a busy working day, whilst being widely available in ready to eat packaging. Be wary that they are high in calorific content, so moderation is the key (as is the case with everything). Here are the top 4 pumpkin seed benefits which demonstrate why the pumpkin is the pumpking!

Help control stress

The naturally high level of L-trytophan found in pumpkin seeds have been shown to calm the nerves and maintain a “calm mood”. Ease your stress levels by munching on a handful of the “pumpking” seeds and taking a 5 minute break from your desk!

Glowing Skin

Pumpkin seeds contain a high level of vitamin E, preventing the early breakdown of skin cells. This helps to maintain a youthful looking glow whilst combating high levels of UV found in the sun. Perfect accompaniment for those in a warmer climate.

Lower cholesterol

Packed with phytosterol, which help to reduce cholesterol levels, toasted seeds contain healthy compounds that help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. This increases your immune response whilst helping to decrease the risk of certain cancers.

They fill you up!

Packed with high levels of protein and fibre, the pumpkin seed is great snack to turn to for a quick fill me up. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds, seasoned with a dash of salt!

Take advantage of Superfoods

Every human body is unique which is why finding a ‘balanced diet’ can be so difficult. Every day there is something in the news about the best ‘superfood’ or a new way of eating that will make you lose 3 stone in two days. You can start to feel a little lost amongst all of the conflicting claims and end up in a lifestyle rut.

Now is the time for your body MOT! Ever wondered why you look six months pregnant after a sandwich? Or perhaps you find you get headaches after eating certain foods? You could have an intolerance which you never even knew about. Do you steer clear of olive oil, avocados and nuts because they are ‘fatty’? Yes, these food products do have fat in them but it is unsaturated which means that it will store long- term energy.

With so much to consider when deciding on what to put into your body, a nutritionist could really help to make the best choices possible for your individual diet and lifestyle. Whether you would prefer online coaching, face to face advice or an allergy/ intolerance test, there really is something for everyone. You can totally re- evaluate your daily diet and completely change the way you look at food. After all, we need our bodies to run on the best possible fuel to live a long, healthy and happy life.

This article was provided by Elle Jenkins from Nutrionist Resource UK. For more information on how to find a nutritionist, please visit http://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/

 

 

Februarys Hearty Seasonal Offerings

The start of a New Year can mean new beginnings for many people in their own different ways. A common NY resolution involves some sort of “naughty” food being banished from the cupboards for as long as you can mentally bear it. Others include squeezing in more exercise, cutting down on drinking, and of course the classic – losing weight. Healthy targets such as these are great for your well-being short-term, but it’s the long term changes that really make the difference.

February brings more than just another month – Seasonal produce that you’ll see in most supermarkets will begin to offer some of the best nourishment the winter month has to offer. Below are our top four foods that are guaranteed to add a seasonal flavour to any dish:

Artichokes

Often overlooked by many, the humble artichoke is often left behind due to the daunting preparation methods required. Don’t be put off – once you start peeling back the layers, you’ll realise it’s a lot easier than you think. This vegetable is high in nutritional value, and can be very tasty when prepared properly. Artichoke is packed with antioxidants to help defend against illness, whilst providing cyanic properties to help ward off cholesterol. Serve as a side salad mixed with pesto and a generous squeeze of lemon – delicious!

Cockles

Bare with us on this one – the typical British seaside snack really doesn’t appeal to the majority. The truth is the pocket-sized cockle is rich in Omega 3 which has been proven to help protect the heart. They’re naturally low in calories, whilst being rich in vitamin B12 which literally translates to “brain food” to you and me. Steam them mixed into pasta or use them liberally in your next fish pie.

Kale

The rich deep greens of Kale play into the often spoken rule “if it’s green then it’s good for you.” Kale is a perfect example of a winter super food  sprouting from the cabbage family with an endlist list of benefits. Packed with natural sources of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, Kale is great for your hair, teeth, skin and bones. Serve steamed as a side dish or drop into soups & stews for added nutrients.

Grapefruit

Certainly not a typical addition to a winter list of super foods  the grapefruit isn’t just for those looking to cut out unwanted calories. This juicy fleshed fruit can be found in a variety of colours, naturally low in calories making it a perfect kick starter for your metabolism. Eat it on it’s own or get creative – it works great with a leafy nutty salad!

What superfoods do you look forward to you in the fall of Winter / Sprout of Spring? Tweet us or get in touch! @healthyhideout

 

Foods that can help prevent Alzheimers

Food That Could Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a type of dementia common in people over the age of 65, although early-onset AD is also seen in younger people. Even though the cause is unknown, there are many theories as to what factors contribute to its onset. Cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes have been associated with the onset of AD, so a healthy diet that minimizes these risks is thought to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent study published in the Archives of Neurology showed that diet has a great impact on the pathological markers of AD. The study participants who ate food high in saturated fats and high-glycemic, simple carbohydrates had higher spinal fluid levels of beta-amyloid, a fibrous protein that affects the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease, than those who ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. In addition, those who already showed signs of AD were more sensitive to the high-fat diet; it raised their blood cholesterol levels almost twice as much as that of healthy people. The low-fat diet improved the visual memory of both those with and without AD.

Another study showed that older women who eat the most cruciferous and green, leafy vegetables are several years younger in mental abilities than women who do not eat vegetables. Many other studies and clinical trials are being done to try to find the cause and cure for this devastating disease, but, until more scientific data become available, a healthy diet seems to be a sensible way to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The standard American diet is typically full of highly processed, high-fat and high-sugar foods. Simple carbohydrates that cause extreme sugar highs and lows make up a large part of this diet. More and more research is showing that our health suffers from such foods. If we can reduce risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease by eating a healthy diet, we can also reduce risk factors for many other diseases.

The majority of a healthy diet should be fruits and vegetables. As a general rule, the darker in color the fruit or vegetable, the more nutrients it has. Dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are powerhouses. A good way to incorporate adequate fruits and vegetables into the diet is by juicing or by making smoothies. Five or more servings of vegetables can easily be consumed this way.

Whole grains and cereals are also a part of a healthy diet. They are complex carbohydrates that do not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar but break down into glucose more slowly and provide vitamins and minerals. Good sources of these carbohydrates are oatmeal, bran and brown rice. Simple carbohydrates and sugars are devoid of nutritional value.

The aforementioned study showed that saturated fat is harmful to health and especially for people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, consumption of fried food and red meat should be minimal, if at all. Cold-water fish that contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids can be eaten several times a week. Beans are also a good source of protein and make a good meat substitute.

Changing one’s diet takes time and effort, but if we are interested in preventing disease, especially Alzheimer’s, it is well worth it. The research results are highly suggestive that diet does influence the onset and course of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

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Nisha represents a site called www.mhaauchlochan.org.uk.  She enjoys writing about health and fitness and has had a few years’ experience working in the health sector. Feel free to visit our site for more information on retirement living.

Pros & Cons of a Clean Food Diet

As people are starting to pay attention to what goes into their food and look at the long term effects of additives and preservatives, many people are considering the clean food diet. The clean food diet is one that involves only eating healthy and natural foods. People on this diet cut out added sugars, processed foods and foods that are filled with chemicals. This means focusing on fruits, vegetables and lean meat.

With any diet or eating regimen, there are pros and cons to following it. With the clean food diet there are more pros than cons, but both need to be considered before someone makes this type of lifestyle change. Following this diet has a lot of advantages because it allows people to lose weight, improve their overall health and does not require calorie counting. However, some people find it hard to follow for a few reasons, such as the cost of these foods.

The clean food diet can be one of the easiest diets to follow, but it does represent a lifelong change in eating. People on this diet do not have to count calories, add up points or eliminate carbs completely, and the clean food diet allows people to eat until they are satisfied. Since they are eating healthy foods that are low in bad fats and added sugars, people are still able to lose weight without limiting the amount of food that they eat.

The goal of this diet is twofold. First, and most importantly, this change in eating is to ensure the health and longevity of the person following it. By eating foods that are natural and filled with nutrients rather than additives leads to better digestion, more energy and an improved immune system.

Second, the diet aims to help people lose weight in a way that is completely natural. Most of the foods that we eat today are filled with sugar and bad fats because those foods taste good and light up the pleasure center of people’s brains. This is probably carried over from when food was scarce and people needed to seek out high fat and calorie foods to survive; however, this is clearly not the case today. Since there is more than enough of all kinds of food available today, it is up to people to make choices that promote health and longevity.

Still, there are some issues with the clean food diet. As with any diet that cuts out added sugar and bad fats, many people will have problems sticking to it. While it is not a particularly restrictive diet, totally forgoing most of the food people currently eat is difficult to adjust to. That said, both fat and sugar are completely acceptable in a clean food diet, they just need to be a part of food naturally, like the sugar in fruit and fat in meat and nuts.

Another common problem that people run into when following the clean food diet is the cost of these foods. Sugary, fatty, high calorie mass produced foods are cheap, whereas raw fruit, vegetables and low fat meat are not. The price rises even further if someone following the clean food diet wants to eat organic foods. Unfortunately, outside of budgeting and trying to get food at farmer’s markets, there is not a way to get around the high cost of good food. However, the fact that they are more expensive should make clear that they are more valuable to people than processed foods.

The clean food diet does represent a lifestyle change, but it is to a healthy lifestyle.

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Sam is a blogger who focuses on health and fitness as well as diet and how that can alter lifestyle. He also has recently tried the clean food diet. Thanks to Sam for providing us with this great article.

6 Super Foods you can afford

Healthy organic produce has been criticised for being too expensive, but many don’t understand that production costs are significantly higher with the need for more manual labour etc. With these costs being passed onto the consumer, many of us tend to think that eating healthy has to be expensive. That’s where you’re wrong!

Trying to eat healthy on a budget can be difficult for many of us, which the constraints of family life & work taking their toll on our energy levels and purse strings. But you don’t have to spend excessive amounts of your budget to eat healthier.

In addition to a good nights sleep, your nutrition can have a drastic long term effect on how you feel throughout the day. By incorporating just one of these super six, you’re guaranteed to see a dramatic change in how you feel as an individual without having to spend more than your bargained for:

 

1. Bananas

It’s been said by many that excessive consumption of bananas can be fattening – this myth doesn’t stand strong in the face of truth. Bananas are higher in levels of immediate energy than most other fruits, but the higher calorie contents comes from the level of carbohydrates in the fruit. Relatively cheap for a bunch of them from most supermarkets, be sure to buy green & ripen at home if you want them to last.

2. Tea

Drank my many across the UK, the iconic British cuppa dons a whole host health properties that you probably didn’t know about. In addition the caffeine kick which increases alertness levels, a cup of tea also helps towards your recommend water intake of 6 pints a day. Tea is also one of the cheapest household staples, with 80 tea bags costing approximately £1.

3. Yoghurt

Often credited for the digestive benefits it can provide to the intestine, yoghurt works as a great milk substitute for those who don’t settle well with high levels of lactose. High in calcium & packed with “friendly” bacteria, yoghurt can be purchased cheaply from most supermarkets. Smaller pots make great lunch companions, and can be purchased in handy multi packs.

4. Wholegrain Seedy Bread

Available as a healthy alternative to your standard white bread, wholegrain seedy loaves containing a lot of seeds and nuts naturally have a low GI. Sandwiches made from seedy bread helps to keep your fibre levels high, assisting in the gut towards an efficient digestive process.

5. Olive Oil

Although not the cheapest cooking accompaniment, olive oil is worth the extra expense over other oils. Several studies have demonstrated that mono saturated fat in olive oil is good for the heart, helping to lower bad cholesterol levels and increase the good ones. Although high in calories, a little goes a long way – you don’t need more than a teaspoon when cooking.

6. Broccoli

A staple “green” vegetable that’s widely available at relatively cheap prices, Broccoli is packed with antioxidants  including vitamin C, as well as high levels of folic acid. Increasing your intake of folic acid has been shown to drastically reduce your chance of heart disease. Better still, just two florets of the stuff counts as a “vegetable” portion.

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