Healthy eating habits to help your body

Healthy eating can be a pain in this age of modern conveniences and to go food. Below are some simple healthy eating habits to strive for. They will help make your body healthier without the angst of a plan, a time limit, or a weight loss aim. It’s just simple good food. Simply good food sensible eating and a healthy outcome for your body.

1. Rediscover Real Food – and by that we mean fresh fruits, veggies, fish and organic poultry – food you can actually identify in its raw state not by a picture on a packet. ‘Packaged foods – tins, packets and ready meals – are generally more processed and contain more additives, especially sugar and salt. If you can identify it, chances are your body can too. By turning to foods in its natural state you make better use of its nutrients without adding unnecessary toxins and additives to your body chemistry!’

2. Don’t Be So Refined – why eat lightweight breads and cereals loaded with added vitamins when you can get them for free plus a healthy shot of fibre too? ‘Making the move from refined to whole grains is a brilliantly simple way to add a healthy boost to your eating. Stone-ground wholemeal bread, brown rice and rolled oats all hang on to their fibre and vital B and E vitamins which in turn are passed onto you. Not only do refined foods lack these elements, they use up part of your energy store when the body processes them – which leaves you with an energy debt.’

3. Splash on the Oil ! – don’t cook with oil – add it to ready made foods and salads instead. ‘Heating oil converts CIS fatty acids (The good guys – our bodies use polyunsaturated oils in CIS form) into trans fatty acids (The very bad guys that damage cells by forming free radicals). Drizzle cold pressed extra virgin oil or flax seed oil over steamed vegetables after cooking or mix with fresh lemon or lime juice, plus garlic and black pepper to make the best ever salad dressing.’… Can’t imagine starting a recipe without frying an onion first? Try sautéing in a little water or stock – it works, we promise.

4. Go For The Squeeze – ‘It’s so easy to buy and drink carton fruit juices and convince ourselves that we’re being healthy. Here is the news: vital vitamins –like all important C for instance – are quickly lost once fruits and veggies are juiced. Treat yourself to a really good juicer (arguably the best health buy you can make) and juice just enough to drink each time. Don’t be tempted to store it. Leaving aside the risk of lost vitamins, stored juice becomes more acidic.’ To get the best out of fresh juices drink them on an empty stomach e.g. first thing in the morning, and avoid mixing fruits with vegetables (apple with vegetables being one exception).

5. Spring Clean Your Gut – and get great locks too. ‘Grind 1 tablespoon of flax seeds in a blender (another gadget that can healthy up your eating) then add it to a home made smoothie. (My favourite has to be banana, strawberries and blueberries with a splash of soya milk) Flax seeds are rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids anti-inflammatory, so their good for flexible joints, healthy skin, great hair and nails and as a healthy bonus encourage regular bowel motions.’ Sorry but it had to be said – it’s important!

6. Don’t Skip Breakfast – starting the day right is a must. Every day, try to add some protein to your favourite menu – eggs or plain bio yoghurt are top of the list. You’ll find energy levels stay constant, hunger pangs vanish and brain power stays perky. In fact if energy level is constantly dipping, try eating six small rather than three big meals a day.

7. Freshen Up Your Menu – obvious yes… but are you really eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables? Adding fresh vegetables or salad to lunch and dinner, eating fresh fruit first thing and as snacks will give you a mega blast of natural anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Want to get the very most from them? Eat them raw or lightly steamed.

8. Choose Organic – it’s easier now that supermarkets love it. Foodies tend to bang on about organic food having more flavour. To be honest some organic foods taste better, some no different. The point is that you’re mainly buying organic for what it doesn’t have – unnecessary pesticides, additives, artificial flavourings and sweeteners. It’s biggest plus point has to be its richness in nutrients thanks to healthier soil and stressed folks like us need all the nutrients we can get.

9. Eat In The Raw – Nuts are fabulous little powerhouses delivering vitamins, minerals protein, fibre, essential fats and age defying anti-oxidants in neat packages. The key is to eat them unsalted, raw and as fresh as you can. Keep them in the fridge and use them up within a week of opening. Nuts are too good for you to really be considered seriously fattening but if you have a tendency to eat too many, get a few thrown into a mini bag and eat through the day as snacks for a lush energy boost.

10. Just Add Water – how tired are we of being told to drink more. Nutritionists, naturopaths, doctors and health experts go on and on about the importance of being hydrated and it really does matter. The body needs and uses about 2 litres a day and the best way to get it is to have it straight or make herbal teas instead of drinking fizzy drinks or regular tea and coffee. Make the switch and you’ll avoid sugar and caffeine (energy draining and diuretic) which also means you’ll ditch the headaches and that fuzzy, can’t quite focus feeling too.


9 Surprising health benefits of Tomatoes

Tomatoes! They’re sweet, juicy, and delicious. Everyone knows they are good for you, right…? But does everyone know specifically why tomatoes are a healthful food? They have vitamin C? They’re low in calories? They’re fat-free? Yes, yes, and yes, but that’s not all!

Let’s look at what makes the tomato an excellent healthy choice.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes 101

One serving of red, ripe, raw tomatoes (one cup or 150 grams) is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium. Tomatoes are naturally low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Tomatoes also provide thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, all of which are necessary for good health.

On top of that, one serving of tomatoes gives you 2 grams of fiber, which is 7% of the daily recommended amount. Tomatoes also have a relatively high water content, which makes them a filling food. In general eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, confers protection against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, and heart disease.

One tomato packs one powerful punch of nutrition, but there’s much more!

Healthy Skin -Tomatoes make your skin look great. Beta-carotene, also found in carrots and sweet potatoes, helps protect skin against sun damage. Tomatoes’ lycopene also makes skin less sensitive to UV light damage, a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles.

Strong Bones – Tomatoes build strong bones.The vitamin K and calcium in tomatoes are both very good for strengthening and repairing bones. Lycopene also has been shown to improve bone mass, which is a great way to fight osteoporosis.

Fight Cancer – Tomatoes are a natural cancer fighter. Lycopene (again!) can reduce the risk of several cancers, including prostate, cervical, mouth, pharynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectal, prostate and ovarian cancer. Tomatoes’ antioxidants (vitamins A and C) fight the free radicals which can cause cell damage

Blood Sugar – Tomatoes can keep your blood sugar in balance. Tomatoes are a very good source of chromium, which helps to regulate blood sugar.

Vision -Tomatoes can improve your vision. The vitamin A that tomatoes provide can improve vision and help prevent night blindness. Recent research shows that consuming tomatoes may help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious and irreversible eye condition.

Hair -Tomatoes will even make your hair look better.The vitamin A found in tomatoes works to make hair strong and shiny.

Prevent Kidney Stones and Gallstones – Tomatoes can help prevent kidney stones and gallstones. Some studies suggest that kidney and gall stones are less likely to form in people who eat tomatoes without the seeds.

Chronic Pain -Tomatoes can reduce chronic pain. If you are one of the millions of people who deal with mild to moderate chronic pain (such as from arthritis or back pain), tomatoes may be a pain-buster. Tomatoes are high in bioflavonoids and carotenoids, which are known anti-inflammatory agents.

Chronic pain often involves chronic inflammation, so attacking the inflammation is a good way to fight the chronic pain. (Many commercial drugs that fight pain are actually anti-inflammatory drugs.)

Lose Weight – Tomatoes can help you lose weight. If you are on a sensible diet and exercise plan, build lots of tomatoes into your everyday eating. They make a great snack and can be used to “bulk up” salads, casseroles, sandwiches and other meals. Because tomatoes contain lots of water and fiber, they fill you up fast without adding a lot of calories or fat.

Easy Ways to Eat More Tomatoes
· Add sliced tomatoes to sandwiches—from tuna to turkey

· Chop tomatoes in salad (leave them at room temperature, if possible)

· Use marinara or tomato sauces (canned, cooked, or homemade) on pasta; this can be big calorie savings when you swap out creamy sauces for tomato-based sauces

· Drink tomato juice or vegetable juice with tomatoes

· Tomatoes for breakfast? Top scrambled eggs with coarsely chopped tomatoes or add them to a breakfast taco

· Eat a handful of the smaller and sweeter varieties like cherry or plum tomatoes as a mid-afternoon snack

· Make a tomato sandwich—this is a sandwich that stars the tomato. The classic dressing for this sandwich is mayonnaise, but I know some people who like tomatoes and mustard

· Add canned or stewed tomatoes to soups and stews, like vegetable soup or beef stew

· Make your own salsa with lots of fresh tomato—salsa is a great replacement for high-fat salad dressings as well as being tasty on meats, fish, and eggs


What to Eat in February

Each vegetable or fruit has a peak time when it’s at its seasonal best, this quick guide provides a crash course to which foods you should be enjoying this February. All the vegetables here will be beautifully fresh in stores throughout February.

Cabbages and broccoli:
One of the super-hero cruciferous vegetable, they are the most powerful cancer protectors. They contain a compound called sulphoraphane which stimulates the liver’s phase II detoxification process.
what to eat in february

Leeks:
Antioxidant/vitamins

Parsnips:
Rich in potassium and very good source of fibre

Rhubarb:
Is a vegetable, but mainly treated as a fruit by consumers. High content of vitamins/minerals (A,C,E,K B6, folate, calcium, zinc etc) Not to be used too often due to its acidity.

Red oranges:
A complete package of every class of natural anti-cancer inhibitor . The peel of citrus fruits contains the cancer inhibitor Limonene. .

Chicory:
Excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium and calcium.

Celeriac:
Low in saturated fat and cholesterol. High in vitamin C, vitamin K potassium, B6, magnesium. Very good for maintaining optimum health and weight.

Halibut:
Very good source of high quality protein. Contains selenium, omega 3 fatty acid, magnesium, potassium and B6. Omega 3 benefits the cardio vascular system.
What to eat in February
Mussels:
Mussels have been cultivated for more than 800 years! Tasty and nutritious, they are low in sodium and saturated fat. Are a good source of vitamin B, vitamin C, amino acids, omega 3, iron, potassium, selenium and zinc. They contain more protein than beef and a quarter of the calories!

Oyster:
Vitamin/mineral rich in iron, calcium, vitamin A. Low in cholesterol. Concentrated natural source of zinc which is essential to support immune system. Very good source of protein.

Scallops:
Rich in protein and omega 3. High in B12, copper, iron, selenium, and zinc. Is good for cardiovascular system and colon cancer.