SUNSHINE AND FOOD TO HELP BOOST MOOD

SUNSHINE AND FOOD TO HELP BOOST MOOD

The onset of the good weather can be beneficial for both mood and weight management.  The idea of salads seems much more appealing and those cravings for stodgy rich comfort foods fade away.  The better weather can encourage you to go outside and do some exercise which can help speed up your metabolism and also help your body to make Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is needed to make serotonin (the feel good chemical) and you may only need 10 minutes of sun exposure to improve your mood. There are also a number of ways to support mood through food. Lean protein to help your body make dopamine (associated with motivation and reward) and serotonin (associated with good mood).  The natural way to boost and maintain healthy levels of serotonin is to eat foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin. Combine these protein foods with wholegrain carbohydrates which are also needed for the brain chemicals to have full effect. Tryptophan is found in chicken, turkey, eggs, live bio-yoghurt, low fat cheeses, beans, lentils, quinoa, fish, oily fish, nuts, seeds. Good sources of carbohydrate are whole grains such as oats, quinoa, barley, rye, brown rice, wholemeal breads, oat cakes, rice cakes.   Turkey is also naturally low in saturated fat.  It can be eaten in a casserole, or in place of beef in a bolognese sauce. Omega 3 Oils have a variety of health benefits including hormone function and boosting metabolism.  They also help support mood.  One study from the University of Pittsburgh found that people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to experience moderate or...
EAT TO SUPPORT YOUR ARTHRITIS AND SPICE UP YOUR DIET

EAT TO SUPPORT YOUR ARTHRITIS AND SPICE UP YOUR DIET

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition.  It is this inflammation that causes pain, stiffness and loss of movement. The food you eat can really affect the inflammation that you experience.  Some foods increase inflammation and some foods are anti-inflammatory and help to reduce it. Foods that cause inflammation in most people are red meat and dairy. It is a good idea to limit these foods to sensible levels.  Other foods can be problematic in certain people but are fine for the majority.  One client was able to completely rid himself from his arthritic symptoms by removing yeast from his diet. Other possible trigger foods are citrus fruits, wheat, chocolate and the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and tobacco).  If you suspect food intolerance, it is possible to test for this. An anti-inflammatory diet is one that is rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and oily fish.  Pineapples, Papaya, Onions, Tuna and Mackerel are all great choices. One of the best ways of reducing inflammation is to include lots of spices in your food.  In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, spices are a great way of adding flavour without using too much saturated fat, salt and sugar.  Spices also contain a range of powerful phytonutrients that have a range of other health benefits. Ginger: This is anti-inflammatory and has antiviral and painkilling properties. It is also warming as it helps improve your circulation. Try adding ginger to stir-fries or drinking hot water with lemon and ginger. Chillies are a good source of capsaicin which is anti-inflammatory.  They also help release endorphins, which are the feel good chemicals.  Chillies can help...
CAN EATING THE RIGHT FOODS HELP REDUCE ALZHEIMER’S RISK?

CAN EATING THE RIGHT FOODS HELP REDUCE ALZHEIMER’S RISK?

There has been a great deal in the media recently to raise awareness of advances in the treatment of dementia and in particular Alzheimer’s. However, there is very little targeted advice on how to prevent the onset of this disease or to help slow down its progression if diagnosed in the early stages. Reports have pointed out that a healthy diet and exercise can help reduce risk but there are some very specific elements of your diet on which you can focus. As with other conditions like heart disease or Type 2 diabetes, where a healthy diet reduces risk, what you eat has a significant impact on your likelihood of developing dementia. Your brain consumes 40% of the calories you eat but even more importantly it is hungry for nutrients to maintain a good state of health and protect against disease. A healthy brain needs 3 key ingredients:  A good flow of oxygen A steady supply of energy in the form of glucose A plentiful supply of key nutrients You also need to ensure that you limit your exposure to substances which will impede brain function or use up vital nutrients to process them (these include alcohol, high sugar foods, carbon monoxide and some metals e.g. cadmium, lead, mercury and copper).  For your brain to work properly you need to be able to make new brain cells and to make the chemicals your brain needs to function properly. Both of these activities rely on a biochemical process called methylation, which happens a billion times a second. For methylation to take place some important vitamins and minerals need to be...

Watercress, Clementine and Feta Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

This salad contains plenty of healthy green leaves, rich in folic acid and vitamin C but packs plenty of taste too. It is light and fresh and just right for sunny spring days. It’s also far from boring – every so often you will get a pomegranate or pumpkin seed or jalapeno pepper to stimulate your taste buds. Ingredients (Serves 4) 1 large bunch watercress 1 avocado, diced Seeds of 1 medium pomegranate or handful of dried cranberries 4 clementines, peeled, seeded and sliced into rounds 4 small radishes, sliced into thin slices Handful fresh coriander, chopped ⅓ cup crumbled feta ¼ cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds Honey-Lime Dressing 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 medium lime) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium jalapeño peppers,  seeds removed, finely chopped 1 teaspoonhoney ½  teaspoon Dijon mustard ¼ teaspoon chilli powder (optional) Method First, make the dressing by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Prepare the watercress by removing very large stalks and place in a big salad bowl. Sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt over the watercress. Drizzle salad dressing over the leaves (you might not need all of the dressing) and toss well so it is lightly coated with dressing. Add the prepared avocado, pomegranate (or dried cranberries), clementines, radishes, coriander and feta to the bowl. Toast the seeds pan over medium-low heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they smell fragrant and nutty. Transfer them to the salad bowl. Toss the salad to combine and...

Pea and Wasabi Dip

This dip packs a real punch of taste and protein too. It makes a change from hummus and has the benefit of not containing garlic so it is great to take to work as a snack. It only takes a few minutes to make. Ingredients 200g of frozen peas (petit pois are best as they taste sweeter and are less fibrous) 1 tsp Wasabi paste (can be bought in most Asian supermarkets) 1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise or you could use sour cream/crème fraîche or natural yoghurt Splash of lemon juice Salt and black pepper to taste Method Cook the frozen peas until tender. Drain and cool in cold water, drain again. Blend the peas with the wasabi paste and mayonnaise (or alternative). Add a small amount of lemon juice and taste. Keep adding until it lifts the flavour. Season with salt and pepper and serve with rye crackers or...