Tag Archives: salmon

Spruce up your Spring eating!

With the official first day of Spring now behind us (March 20th for the UK readers), the season of blossom is truly in full swing.  With a new season comes new crops, including a whole host of tantalising spring foods that shouldn’t be ignored.

Spring offers some of the most versatile foods packed with vital nutrition that can add huge benefits to any diet. Here are just some of the best spring foods that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Asparagus – Not only does it look great on a plate, asparagus carries fantastic nutritional properties that not many other vegetables can offer. Known as a wonder tonic for kidney health, asparagus is a diuretic which helps the body get rid of unwanted toxins making it an ideal companion for dieters. Asparagus is packed with vitamin C & K, fibre, protein, iron, folic acid, manganese and potassium – That’s a whole host of good stuff!
  • Peas – Spring offers some of the best green vegatables available in the supermarket, and don’t be fooled by the tiny size of the petit pois! Peas are great when used in soups and because they’re low calorie, rich in fibre and protein, and a good source of antioxidant vitamins, you’d be silly not to add a portion to every other meal.
  • Strawberries – Does anyone have memories of picking strawberries with their parents when you were younger? The delicious strawberry has a high water content containing vitamins B, C, E potassium, calcium, zinc and iron – all the good stuff! These antioxidants will help to boost your immune system whilst helping to fight the signs of ageing.
  • Mackerel – Packed with vitamin B12 & D along with high levels of phosphorus, magnesium and selenium, this fish isn’t to everyone’s tastes! But eating three portions of oily fish a week can help to maintain the recommended levels of omega 3 in the body, improving bone and skin health. Make the switch from salmon or sardines, as mackerel isn’t considered an endangered species – It’s relatively cheap too.
What healthy food tips can you offer to our readers? Are their annual changes that you make as soon as the Spring season arrives? We’d love to hear from you – just post in the comments below or tweet us at @healthyhideout.

 

Note: It’s been a while since the Healthy Hideout has offered a decent post with some “meat on the bone” for our wonderful followers to sink their teeth into. We’d like to thank all of our readers for their ongoing commitment to the blog, and can confirm that we are back up and running for the time being.

 

Top Ten Toxic foods we love

We all know that all the sugary goodness made widely available to us in supermarkets across the globe isn’t good for us. The majority of us however, have no idea that some of our staple supplies that make their way into our refrigerators and store cupboards can actually harm you when consumed in large quantities or consumed within certain conditions. Here are the Healthy Hideout top ten toxic foods we know & love;

  • Chillies – Known for their heat and fire, many of us add chillies to our food for an extra kick. Chillies contain a chemical called “Capsaicin” which is what causes the spicy kick you either love or hate, but eat too much of it and your body can suffer. Stomach pain and itchy skin are mild symptoms, but overdoing it can cause death.
  • Rapeseed Oil – Known for being an innocent natural oil, reports have shown that the rape plant from which is oil is produced from is in fact extremely toxic. Excessive consumption of the oil could cause respiratory problems and blindness.
  • Rice – Known for many health benefits, rice is best eaten in moderation due to reportedly high levels of arsenic. One study showed that almost one in five packs of American long-grain rice contained potentially harmful levels of the toxic substance. However, as a staple carbohydrate in most of Asia, the toxicity of this particular food is debatable.
  • Nutmeg – The common store bought spice is perhaps one of the most dangerous foods on the list. Although it carries many health benefits when taken in small moderation, large consumption can cause hallucinations, convulsions or even nausea due to the toxin “myristicin” found in the spice.
  • Non-organic fruit – Although it’s difficult for many of us to keep buying organic, fruit that’s mass produced can contain a high concentration of pesticides dangerous to the health. Apples are one of the fruits that top the list, as they are vulnerable to serious infestation. To prevent this, growers tend to “coat” the fruit in pesticides which can be absorbed into the flesh of the fruit.
  • Mass farmed Salmon – A study has shown that 13 different toxins were found in higher concentration in farmed salmon when compared to wild salmon. These toxins can pose potential health risks, so it may be a good idea to reduce the amount of mass farmed salmon you consume and switch to a more naturally caught salmon.
  • Mushrooms – Although they may seem harmless when being sold by many supermarkets across the board, did you know that there are around 100 species of mushroom that are dangerous to humans causing headaches, sickness and even death. Be wise in what you buy, and ensure that you don’t attempt wild mushroom picking without a professional.
  • Peanuts – Common for their allergens, peanuts can be toxic due to susceptibility to mould and the occurrence of a high toxic carcinogen known as Aflatoxin. Be sure to buy your peanuts from responsibility sourced areas and avoid snacking on them regularly.
  • Potatoes – For many of us, we didn’t want to see this one on the list as so many are consumed every year by each and every one of us. Potatoes actually reside from the same plant family as the deadly nightshade. Avoid potatoes that have turned green, or ones that have sprouted. These tend to have a higher concentration of “glycoalkaloids” which can cause negative effects on the nervous and digestive system.
  • Microwavable popcorn – A great treat for all us when settling down to the latest Blu-Ray in our home cinemas, butter flavoured versions have been shown to contain a chemical known as “diacetyl”, which releases toxic fumes when microwaved. At present, only factory workers are being affected but be weary when choosing your next flavour!

Definitely a list not to be taken lightly, it’s important to not let maintaining a healthy lifestyle a chore. Be sure to enjoy yourselves thoroughly whilst be weary of what your eating!

10 Top Brain Foods

The brain can be a very demanding muscle and giving it what it needs will pay massive dividends to the mental health of both you and your family. A sharp, focused brain with clarity of thought will make you more productive, produce higher quality results while saving you both time and energy. If you have a difficult decision to make about your finances, relationships or future then why not start off with your brain functioning in top gear? It may be that you just want to stay sharp-witted, improve memory or stave off mental decline. All you need to do is make some changes to your weekly shopping list and soon you will start to think more clearly!

Blueberries

Blueberries. Source: http://www.oregonberry.com

1. Blueberries

Studies have discovered that berries can help fight major conditions such as heart disease, cancer and infections. In particular, blueberries, strawberries and acai berries can help protect the brain; preserving memory and other mental faculties. Dr. Poulose, a researcher from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA-ARS) stated: “The good news is that natural compounds called polyphenolics found in fruits, vegetables and nuts have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that may protect against age-associated decline.”

2. Coffee

Coffee Beans

Enjoy a guilt-free morning coffee!

The risk of dementia can be cut where coffee blocks the damage that cholesterol can inflict on the body. The 2008 report from the BBC stated that coffee can lead to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Jonathan Geiger from the University of North Dakota says, “Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders.” Perhaps that daily cup of coffee could be having more long term benefits that you thought!

3. Salmon

Dr Byrne from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School states that: “There are certain ‘brain foods’ that seem to have a benefit on the brain. New research shows that Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in salmon and other fish, may build the brain’s gray matter”.

4. Eggs

Eggs are a good source of choline, which has been found to be vital for healthy cells, liver and brain. In fact choline not only helps improve brain function but can also help with memory retention. With many people lacking adequate amounts of choline in their diets it seems like eggs are a great, accessible source.

5. Flax seeds

Increasing evidence supports the notion of increasing the amount of omega-3 healthy fats in our diets. Omega-3 can be found in fish oils and flax seed oil. It has been reported that these Omega-3 healthy fats can be good for your brain and overall mood.

6. Avocado

Steven Pratt, MD, and author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life states that avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health. Avocado is a fatty fruit but this is a monounsaturated fat which can actually contribute to healthy blood flow.

7. Spinach & Green leafy vegetables

The journal of American Heart Association found that there is a clear link between a high folate diet and reduced risk of strokes. In fact, spinach is high in folate and a great natural source. Some neurologists have recommended eating organic spinach 3+ times a week as a brain tonic!

8. Walnuts & mixed nuts

Walnuts have a high concentration of DHA, which is a type of Omega 3 fatty acid shown to improve brain performance in adults while helping stave off cognitive decline. One study has even suggested that mothers who get enough DHA in their diets have smarter children.

9. Dark chocolate

So, what makes dark chocolate such a great brain food? The answer is found in the flavonoids that it contains. The cocoa, high in flavonoids, has been found to help keep your heart and brain healthy. In fact, the Salk Institute has found initial evidence that eating dark chocolate can help improve brain blood flow which in turn can help improve memory.

10. Acai Berries

Like blueberries, acai berries contain a compound called polyphenol that can trigger the brain to clean and recycle toxic proteins that can lead to memory loss and mental decline. Dr Shibu Poulose, from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Ageing, stated: “In aging, microglia fail to do their work, and debris builds up within the brain. This research has shown that the polyphenolics in berries have a beneficial effect. They have been seen to restore the brains normal housekeeping function.”

Tell us about any other great brain foods that you eat to keep your cognitive sharpness at its peak. Also, why not read the following books to understand more about how some of these super foods can help keep your mind and body healthy into old age: