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Your Nuts Trio of Summer Salads


Your Nuts Trio of Summer Salads

A Trio of Summer Salads

Well, it seems as though we are in the midst of a really good stretch of good weather (although as I am writing this it is steadily drizzling, which is actually offering some welcome relief). Schools are out and timetables have changed (for me anyway), from the maniacal rush from work to school and after-school activities to a slightly more relaxed pace. One thing that has increased, however, is the supply of food throughout the day for more than just me!

My general approach to cooking is having occasional bursts of preparation, assembling dishes which can last a couple of days, re-inventing themselves along the way in the form of left-overs (which somehow always seem to taste better than the main event anyway).

I like to have a few salads on the go at any time which can be grabbed and mixed together for packed lunches for work-days or picnics or to serve as side dishes with dinner in the evening. They are also handy if you have better things to do in the evening than cooking; for us it’s normally playing or watching sport (I know we will be avidly watching the Olympics now that the Tour de France is over) and I just don’t have time every night to sweat over the stove. You do have to learn to be a bit experimental with the ingredients you have to hand, but the basic rules are to ensure you have a good spread of colour, texture and flavour – otherwise they all become a bit ‘samey’. For dressings, you can’t go wrong with an equal amount of oil (rapeseed, olive or avocado work well) and acid (lemon juice or a good wine or balsamic vinegar) plus an extra burst of flavour if you like (mustard, pesto or chilli for example). I use an old, clean jam jar and throw everything in it with some salt, pepper and fresh herbs and give it a good shake together before serving.

Salads are also great for barbecues and if you have someone who likes to take control of the grill, then you can focus on the salads yourself. You can even assemble the ‘meatier’ ones the day before if you like (leaf-based salads don’t keep, especially dressed ones). They are also nice to take with you as an offering if someone else is doing the hard work.

The following salads are quick to assemble and require a minimum amount of effort (and skill!). They will last a couple of days too, which is great if you are on-the-go (you could layer them up in a kilner jar if you like – I’ve seen lots of postings of that approach on food blogs.... or a Tupperware box will suffice!). I have tried to include some nice summer herbs such as mint and chives, which are great to have in pots by the kitchen door and again require no skill, even for the most reluctant of gardeners (I fall into that camp!). My two girls scoffed all these happily for tea with some home-made pizza (using pre-made ‘cheat’ bases) and declared them a great success. Clean plates are always the best vote of appreciation!

Have happy holidays, if you are taking them in August.

Enjoy,

Jo x

 

Potato Salad

Serves 4Potato Salad

 

500g waxy new potatoes (I used Lady Crystal variety)

1-2 tbsp whole grain mustard

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tsp white wine vinegar

Freshly ground salt and pepper

2 spring onions, finely sliced (or you could use sliced red onion)

4 chive stalks, finely chopped

 

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the potatoes until they are cooked but still firm. Drain them and leave them to cool. Chop them into large chunks and put them into a large bowl.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and gently toss the potatoes until they are all coated, adding the spring onions and chives.

You can serve this warm if you like (or you can’t wait for the potatoes to cool down!)

 

Minted Pea, Bean, Rocket and Goat’s Cheese Salad

Serves 4Minted Pea Salad

 

1 cup fresh or frozen peas, cooked

1 cup fresh or frozen broad beans, cooked (if fresh, remove the beans from their tough outer shells once cooked)

100g hard goat’s cheese (or feta), crumbled/chopped into rough chunks

1 handful fresh mint leaves, shredded

1 handful rocket

1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil

1-2 tsp white wine vinegar

½ tsp chilli oil (or a few flakes of dried chilli/finely chopped fresh red chilli)

Freshly ground salt and pepper

 

Combine the dressing ingredients and mix well. Put all the other ingredients into a bowl and gently toss everything in the dressing so that everything is well-coated.

 

‘Veggie’ Caesar Salad

Serves 4

 

6-8 leaves cos or romaine lettuce, cleaned and roughly sliced

½ cup pecans dry-fried in a frying pan until lightly toasted (or you can use more traditional croutons if you prefer)

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tbsp horseradish sauce

Freshly ground pepper

Fresh anchovies (as a non-veggie alternative)

 

Ensure that the salad leaves are dry (you can wipe off any soil rather than washing them or if you do wash them use a salad spinner to get rid of any remaining moisture).

Stir together the horseradish sauce, oil and pepper. Gently toss the leaves in the dressing (I use my hands for this). Sprinkle over the toasted pecans and serve immediately with the anchovies (if using).

 

 

Vitamin D & Sun Safety


Vitamin D & Sun Safety

Vitamin D & Sun Safety

Vitamin D is needed to help your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, amongst many other crucial minerals and vitamins, from your diet. Calcium and phosphorus are vital for healthy bones and teeth and a deficiency in Vitamin D can cause them to become soft and weak, potentially resulting in long term problems in children and adults.

Vitamin D from sunlight

Vitamin D is not naturally found in your body, but it is created from exposure of your skin to direct sunlight.  Your body obviously makes the most Vitamin D during the summer months but it can be stored to last the winter months when there is less sunlight.

How long should we spend in the sun?

Most people can make enough vitamin D from being out in the sun daily for short periods, from March to October, with their forearms, hands or lower legs uncovered and without sunscreen.  A short period of time in the sun means just a few minutes - less than the time it takes you to start going red or burn.

Sun exposure for longer is unlikely to provide any additional benefits. The longer you stay in the sun, especially for prolonged periods without sun protection, the greater your risk of sunburn and longer term damage.

Dangers of UV rays

The short-term risks of sun exposure are sunburn and sun allergy.  Everyone who is exposed to UV light is at risk of getting sunburn, although some people are more vulnerable than others. 

Cancer Research UK has a useful tool where you can find out your skin type, to see when you might be at risk of burning. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/sun-uv-and-cancer/am-i-at-risk-of-sunburn

The longer-term risks (over decades) include:

People who spend a lot of time in the sun, whether it’s for work or play, are at increased risk of skin cancer if they don’t take the right precautions. Snow, sand, concrete and water can reflect the sun’s rays onto your skin, and the sun is more intense at high altitudes. 

 

Preventing skin damage from sunlight

You should take extra care when out in the sun if you:

  • have pale, white or light brown skin
  • have freckles or red or fair hair
  • tend to burn rather than tan
  • have many moles
  • have skin problems relating to a medical condition
  • are only exposed to intense sun occasionally – for example, while on holiday
  • are in a hot country where the sun is particularly intense
  • have a family history of skin cancer

Sunscreen:

UVA rays are the main cause of long term damage, so look for the symbol on your suncare products that shows they have UVA protection and aim to use products with a minimum of 4 stars.

UVB rays cause sunburn and to minimise the risk of sunburn, suncare products include ingredients with Sun Protection Factors (SPFs).  Different products have different SPF levels and the way SPF is calculated is based on the typical length of time that skin would burn without any protection relative to the length of time that skin would burn if coated in a suncare product containing SPF ingredients.  So, a product with SPF30 would enable you to stay in the sun 30x longer than if you were unprotected.   

Most people do not apply enough sunscreen. Typical manufacturer’s recommendations are that the amount of sunscreen needed for the body of an average adult to achieve the stated sun protection factor (SPF) is around 35ml or 6 to 8 teaspoons of lotion. If sunscreen is applied too thinly, it provides less protection. If you plan to be out in the sun long enough to risk burning, sunscreen needs to be applied twice:

  • 30 minutes before going out
  • just before you go out

Sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin, including the face, neck and ears (and head if you have thinning or no hair).

Water-resistant sunscreen is recommended if doing sport or in contact with water. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied liberally, frequently and according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes straight after you've been in water (even if it is "water-resistant") and after towel drying, sweating or when it may have rubbed off.

That said, this is a generalisation as everyone’s skin is different.  To help further protect yourself:

  • spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • drink plenty of water
  • cover up with clothes, a hat and sunglasses

Suitable clothing:

  • a wide-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears
  • a long-sleeved top
  • trousers or long skirts in close-weave fabrics that do not allow sunlight through
  • sunglasses with wraparound lenses or wide arms with the CE Mark and European Standard EN 1836:2005.

There is also a risk of getting sunburn in other weather conditions – for example:

  • light reflecting off snow
  • cloudy and cool conditions at high altitude 

So the best advice is to always have an appropriate method of protecting your skin

Sunburn

It’s easy to underestimate your exposure to the sun when outside, as sun safetythe redness doesn’t usually develop for several hours. Breezes and getting wet (such as going in and out of the sea) may cool your skin, so you don’t realise you’re getting burnt. You should always be aware of the risk of sunburn if you’re outside in strong sun, and look out for your skin getting hot.

What to do if you're sunburnt:

If you or your child has sunburn, the skin will normally start to flake and peel after a few days and will usually fully heal within seven days. While sunburn is often short-lived and mild, you should get out of the sun as soon as possible – head indoors or into a shady area. You can usually treat mild sunburn at home. The following advice may help to relieve your symptoms until your skin heals:

  • Cool the skin by sponging it with cold water or by having a cold bath or shower – applying a cold compress such as a cold flannel to the affected area may also help.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to cool you down and prevent dehydration.
  • Apply natural yoghurt or coconut oil.
  • Try to avoid all sunlight, including through windows, by covering up the affected areas of skin until your skin has fully healed.

Signs of severe sunburn can include:

  • blistering or swelling of the skin (oedema)
  • chills
  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above, or 37.5C (99.5F) or above in children under five
  • dizziness, headaches and feeling sick

In these circumstances, medical advice is advised.

Other sources of Vitamin D

As well as creating Vitamin D from sunlight, we can consume Vitamin D from some foods, mainly oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, as well as meat and eggs. When eating fish remember to stay in the RDA guidelines of 2/3 portions per week. Fish is a wonderfully healthy ingredient but with ocean/sea ever increasing and the demand for intensive farming to increase stocks, there are concerns about the quality of some fish that ends up on our plates. To avoid this try and shop sustainably and organic where ever you can/afford.

Who is at risk of Vitamin D deficiency?

Some groups of the population are at greater risk of Vitamin D deficiency, and the Department of Health advises these people to take daily vitamin D supplements. These groups are: 

  • pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • babies and young children from six months to five years old – unless they are having 500ml or more a day of infant milk formula
  • older people aged 65 and over
  • people who are not exposed to much sun – for example, those who cover their skin or are confined indoors for long periods
  • people who have darker skin – they need more time in the sun than someone with lighter skin to produce the same amount of vitamin D 

If you’re wondering which supplements you can take or your child can take, pop in and see us, give us a call (01484 680126), or drop us an email info@yournutswholefoods.co.uk and our friendly team will be more than willing to help.

 

Here’s to a wonderful summer! Hannah

 

Energy…What is it and how can you have more?


Energy…What is it and how can you have more?

Energy…What is it and how can you have more?energy

What is energy? A silly statement it may seem on first appearance. But, I would go so far as stating that the majority of individuals (or perhaps, my customers) don’t recognise the importance of energy until they have none. It’s only when those troublesome symptoms of lethargy, sugar cravings and headaches strike, that we have that lightbulb moment and think ‘this needs to stop’…’I need more energy’.

So, quite simply this blog will look at what energy is, where we get it from, foods that zap energy and foods that are great for energy. Finishing with a couple of lovely recipes to kick start your day with an energy-encouraging and sustaining breakfast.

The importance of energy

Energy is vital for our bodies to function properly.  Our own bodies, like all living organisms are energy conversion machines. Energy in food consumed by humans is converted to work, thermal energy, and stored in fat. By far the largest fraction of energy goes to thermal energy, to drive active and involuntary bodily functions such as thinking, sleeping, moving and digesting food, although the fraction going into each form depends both on how much we eat and on our level of physical activity. If we eat more than more is needed to do work and stay warm, the remainder goes into body fat.

It’s vital to feed our bodies the correct energy and consequentially, the correct food for our bodies to work efficiently and successfully.

Foods to Avoid

Some foods can act as a metaphorical black hole to our energy supplies. It makes sense that if you fill your body with food that doesn’t deliver the appropriate energy, your body won’t function as effectively as you need which in turn leaves you feeling unhealthy and prone to tiredness and internal/external stress. Like the saying goes: ‘You wouldn’t put diesel into a car that takes petrol’. Here are a few foods to stick the red tape around:

Caffeine-There are few people who don’t rely on a morning cup of coffeecoffee, and there are many who sip on multiple servings a day. Even coffee in the morning and some sort of fizzy drink, tea, or other caffeinated beverage in the afternoon can be detrimental to your energy supply. Caffeine can leave us “tired and wired.” If we need sleep and we choose caffeine instead, we continue to throw off our natural sleep cycle. Try tapering down the amount of caffeine you drink or limiting yourself to one serving in the morning to see how it affects your quality of sleep. Our body is meant to regulate our energy supply, but constantly fueling it with fake energy only leaves us more tired each day.

Fatty Foods-Ever eat a thick burger and begin dozing off soon after? We’ve all been there. Fatty and greasy foods like burgers, fries, or almost any fast-food meal will cause an energy depletion by the end of the day – guaranteed. These foods are tough to digest and truly suck the energy out of us as they do so. Red meat is the biggest culprit in this category because of its high fat content.

Alcohol-Alcohol is a depressant and although wine may be the most beercommon drink (aside from beer) to sip on during lunch or dinner, think again if you have a long day or night ahead. Red grapes are high in melatonin, a natural hormone that facilitates sleep. Although wine may lull you to sleep, don’t rely on alcohol to get you to bed at night.

Yoghurt-Yoghurt can be one of the healthiest foods on earth: high in protein, low in sugar, and packed with probiotics — that is if you get the right kind! Yoghurt seen on commercials should be avoided. Typically, yogurt is full of high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial fruits, and other pesky chemicals. Opt for Greek yogurt or Natural Yoghurt.

Salty Snacks-Snacks like crisps and tortilla chips are full of unhealthy fats and refined carbs that have zero nutritional value. There is so much sodium packed in these snacks that they cause us to feel lethargic, to need more water, and feel overall very unhealthy. In addition, these salty snacks are full of harmful chemicals.

White Bread-White bread is typically the culprit when it comes to losing energy because it is composed of refined carbohydrates that produces white breadhigh levels of insulin. Insulin “shuttles away the rapidly absorbed sugars you’ve just eaten out of your bloodstream, where they present a danger to your body.” This is the best condition for weight gain because these sugars are then stored as fat. White bread, bagels, and other refined carbs have no nutritional value.

Recommended Foods

It comes as no surprise then that fueling your body with the right energy leaves your body feeling revitalized, energized, healthy and happy. Resulting in skin that reflects the health of your insides and also a body that feels less tired and less internally/externally stressed. Personally, I can always spot a person who’s on top of their diet because they always seem to have a spring in their step, a glowing complexion and bright eyes. The ancient philosophers were right when they said ‘Beauty starts from within.’ Here are some foods that will start you on the road to a healthier life:

Brown Rice- Rich in manganese, the mineral that helps produce energy from protein and carbs, it will help you maintain high energy all day. A versatile ingredient, brown rice can be served as a side dish with your favorite lean proteins (along with nutrient-packed veggies!) for a powerhouse lunch or dinner.

 

sweet potatoesSweet Potato-High in carbohydrates and loaded with beta-carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C, these will help fight off midday fatigue. Bonus: Kids will love this sweet treat at mealtime. Try them mashed or cut into strips, tossed with a little oil and and baked for a healthier alternative to chips.

Honey-A spoonful of honey is nature's equivalent of an energy drink. Low on the glycemic index, this natural sweetener acts as a time-released muscle fuel during exercise and helps replenish muscles post-workout. Add a sweet drizzle to anything from breakfast yoghurt to afternoon tea.

red appleApples- Not only will an apple a day keep the doctor away it'll also give you a powerful jolt of energy. High in fiber, apples take longer to digest, so they'll give you a more prolonged lift than many other fruit picks. Snack on apples with cheese or homemade hummus for an especially effective pick-me-up.

Oranges-High in vitamin C, potassium and folate, this citrus fruit rations out energy steadily over time instead of giving you a quick sugar rush. Peel and eat an orange whole to benefit from the pectin and fiber in the fruit's membranes. Also great added into hot water as a replacement to Lemon, to Alkalize the body first thing in the morning.

alamondAlmonds-Packed with protein, manganese, copper and riboflavin, almonds are a handy snack to keep at your desk or in your bag. Copper and manganese play an essential role in keeping energy flowing throughout the body by neutralizing toxins within cells. Riboflavin aids oxygen-based energy production.

kaleKale-Kale is this year’s super food without a doubt. It’s absolutely packed full of Iron, Vitamin K, A and C. It Is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s full of calcium and a powerful detox food. Get this stuff into your morning smoothies…you won’t regret it.

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve probably heard it a million times! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What follows are some lovely breakfast recipes to aid you in the process of incorporating more energy sustaining foods into your daily diet.

Recipes

Crispy Kale with Avocado, Sumac, Lime and Chilli on Rye Toast. (My all-time favorite!)

Ingredients:biona breadavacado

  • Bag of Kale
  • Alfez Sumac
  • 1 Lime -Full of Vitamin-C and Folate. Also great for Alkalizing.
  • Biona Rye Bread-Enriched with Omega Oils.
  • 1 Avocado-Provides over 20 essential nutrients including, potassium, Vitamin-E, B, Folic Acid and Fiber.
  • Clove of Garlic. –its active ingredient, allicin, is full of antioxidants, garlichas anti-inflammatory properties, stimulates hair growth and lowers cholesterol. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. - has an Alkalizing effect on the body as well as being great for the skin, joints and circulation.
  • Chili Flakes- The active compound in chili is capsaicin. This chillipowerhouse compound lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, kick starts the metabolism, provides pain relief for inflammation, helps burn fat as well as being a muscle relaxant.

 

Method:

  • Roughly chop the kale, wash and put to one side.
  • Finely chop a garlic clove.
  • Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan.
  • Add the garlic followed by the kale.
  • Fry the kale until leaves catch and turn crispy, around 7-10 minutes.
  • Drizzle cider vinegar over kale.
  • Add Rye bread to toaster-Once toasted remove and spread avocado liberally.
  • Top avocado with sumac, chilli, pepper, salt and lime. Add kale from the pan.

 

Jumbo Oat Flakes with Blueberries and Goji berries.

Ingredients:

  • Jumbo Oat Flakes. - Contains Thiamin, B-Vitamins, Protein, Fiber, Vitamin E, Potassium.
  • Blueberries- Contains potassium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, bluberryspotassium. The berries also carry a small amount of the B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folates and pantothenic acid.
  • Goji Berries- Contains Vitamin A, C, E, B1, B2, Calcium, Iron, Protein. These berries contain 19 of the essential amino acids, 21 trace minerals including germanium (an anti-cancer trace mineral goginot often found in foods)
  • Coconut Oil. - Contains a high lauric acid content which helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It is also proven to improve thyroid health. It helps maintain a healthy metabolism, helps bone strength and increases absorption of Vitamin D and calcium. It is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal.

 

Method:

  • Take a handful of oats and pour water just above surface of the oats.
  • Place on a medium heat and cook until oats have absorbed the water, adding more if necessary.
  • Once cooked add a teaspoon or tablespoon of coconut oil and stir in until absorbed.
  • Top with blueberries and Goji berries.

Enjoy!

 

I hope you have found this blog informative and helpful. If there are any queries or you’d like more recipes that will help sustain your energy, don’t hesitate to email (info@yournutswholefoods.co.uk), phone (01484 680126) or call into Your Nuts. One of our lovely team will be there to help.

All the best,

Hannah x

 

Adaptogens


Adaptogens

Adaptogens

In the world of Health and Nutrition, adaptogens are being frequently mentioned at the moment.  Health gurus are predicting them as the next big supplement trend …though as the trend goes, Asian cultures have been using adaptogens for thousands of years; we’re just playing catch up!

Adaptogens are plants that have been labelled as such because of their unique composition of biologically active substances which have proven effectiveness in helping the human body “adapt” or to “adjust” to strains and changes of daily living. Adaptogenic plants normalise the functions of bodily systems, acting like a shadow of extra support to your body’s natural function.

Adaptogens were classified by the ancient Chinese as the most effective plants to increase physical and mental capacity, reduce fatigue, improve resistance to diseases, and extend lifespan.  As such, they were commonly used by soldiers immediately before battle.  In Siberia, the same plants were used before dangerous journeys. Despite many myths and thousands of years of utilization across the world, the demonstration of their effectiveness was not scientifically confirmed until 45 years ago.

In our modern, fast-paced world, adaptogens have been proven to be particularly helpful in the management of stress.

Cortisol is the hormone released by the body in times of stress.  In acute situations, e.g. exam time or accident, it puts your body into a heightened state of ‘fight or flight’ mode.  But where stress becomes chronic, the levels of cortisol become detrimental to many physiological systems in your body; it stimulates your sympathetic nervous system and your adrenal glands and when this occurs, there is a decrease in your digestive secretions, an increase in blood pressure and a depletion of your immune system.

As a consequence, chronically elevated cortisol can contribute to:an

  • Accelerated ageing
  • Anxiety
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Common Colds
  • Diabetes
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Weight loss resistance

 

If this sounds all a little too familiar and the strains of stress are starting to show, perhaps it’s time for you to look into supplementing with an adaptogen. The question I hear is…what adaptogens are available?

Top 7 Adaptogen Herbs

1. Ginseng:  Benefit-rich ginseng is the most well-known adaptogen, adaptogen herband Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is considered the most potent. Research has validated Asian ginseng’s use for improving mental performance and your ability to withstand stress. This red ginseng also has antioxidant effects, antidepressant effects, and can help naturally lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. There are a number of adaptogens referred to as ginsengs that aren’t technically ginsengs, but keep in mind that they have similar composition or effects.

2. Holy basil: holy basilAlso called tulsi, holy basil is known in India as the “elixir of anti-aging.” Preliminary studies suggest that holy basil benefits include helping you fight fatigue and stress; boost your immune system; and regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and hormone levels.

 

3. Ashwaganda: ashwagandaoften referred to as Indian ginseng and frequently used in Ayurvedic medicine, it regulates the immune system and eases anxiety.

 

 

 

4. Astragalus root: astragulusUsed in Chinese medicine, to boost immunity and buffer the effects of stress. It increases the amount of anti-stress compounds our bodies use to repair and prevent stress-related damage. It may also reduce the ability of stress hormones like cortisol to bind to receptors.

5. Licorice root: licoriceknown to help increase energy and endurance, boost the immune system, and protect the thymus from being damaged by cortisol.  However its use requires professional supervision because of how it may affect blood pressure.

6. Rhodiola: rodiolarhodiola rosea or golden root, is a potent adaptogen that has been the focus of much research. Rhodiola provides a buffer to stress-related mental and physical fatigue. Rhodiola was used by Russian cosmonauts, athletes and military personnel, and years of study have begun to uncover the very mechanisms by which it acts as an adaptogen. Rhodiola rosea contains a phytochemical known as salisdroside. This component helps relieve anxiety and combat aging. Rhodiola suppresses the production of cortisol and increases levels of stress-resistant proteins. Studies have found that it restores normal patterns of eating and sleeping after stress; lowers mental and physical fatigue; and protects against oxidative stress, heat stress, radiation and exposure to toxic chemicals. Rhodiola also protects the heart and liver, increases use of oxygen, improves memory, and may even extend longevity.

7. Fungi:fungi  Cordyceps, reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms are fungi powerful antioxidants with adaptogenic, anti-tumour and immune-enhancing properties.

 

 

Some final thoughts to re-cap this whistle stop tour through the land of adaptogens:

  1. High cortisol levels resulting from chronic stress can affect every adaptogen productsphysiological and psychological system in the body.
  2. Eating well, getting proper rest, staying active, keeping a journal and maintaining social connection all help protect you from chronic stress.
  3. Adaptogens balance and restore the body and as a supplement, can increase your capacity to deal with stress and improve your mental and physical performance.

 

So on that note, why not call into Your Nuts today and speak to our lovely team about the    adaptogens we have on offer and which one would best suit you.

All the best, Hannah.

 

 

 

 

Cows’ Milk… is it bad for you?


Cows’ Milk… is it bad for you?

I’ve dabbled with my milk choices for many years, but after discovering so many of our ‘milk alternatives’ are made from GM crops, I went back to what I knew… that was cows. Cows’ milk, I should probably add.   That was until recently, when a few friends told me they were cutting out cows’ milk.  We debated the pros and cons from a fairly uninformed basis so yesterday, I decided to properly research the science journals. Here are my findings:

(I will note that some of this research is very heavy on the scientific jargon, so I’ll simplify where possible)

Antibiotics

Studies have shown that a staggering 55% of anti-biotics created by the big pharmaceutical industries are fed to livestock and these anti-biotics and/or their derivatives can still be present in their milk, even after processing.   

Calcium Depletion

milkCows’ milk depletes our calcium stores.  It is easy to understand that the confusion about cows’ milk because it does contain calcium – around 300 mg per cup. However, barely any can be absorbed by humans, especially if the milk is pasturised.  And like all animal proteins, milk acidifies the body’s pH so the body has to rebalance this to function normally.  And one of the best ways for the body to rebalance the acidity is to take calcium from the bones! So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is used to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk.

 

 

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose is a sugar found in cows’ milk and other dairy products.  It is normally broken down by an enzyme called lactase, which is produced by cells in the lining of the small intestine. Lactose intolerance is an impaired ability to digest lactose because lactase is either inactive, absent or present in only very small amounts.   Approximately 65% of the total human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. In some countries, over 90 percent of the adult population is lactose intolerant. Symptoms of the condition can be uncomfortable, embarrassing and/or unpleasant:  abdominal bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting. 

Cancer

Roughly 80 per cent of mass-market milk is derived from pregnant or recently pregnant cows; this means that the milk contains a number of steroid hormones and messenger proteins (growth factors) which are vital for the healthy growth of a calf (cows’ milk [organic or otherwise] has been shown to contain 35 different hormones and 11 growth factors).  The human body also has hormones and growth factors for it to function properly and the levels in the blood are carefully controlled.  Our bodies have not evolved defence mechanisms for regulating external hormones and growth factors in addition to those naturally found in the body.  This in turn can cause an increased reproduction rate of cells which acts as a catalyst to the formation of abnormal growths; cancer.

 

Milk/Dairy Is Not the Only Source of Calcium

There are so many foods out there that contain a healthy and abundant source of calcium without the hazardous implications of drinking animal milk. Here is a very small list of nondairy/vegan sources:

  • Kale: One cup of raw kale is loaded with calcium, approximately 90 mg to be exact. This means that a 3.5 cup of kale salad provides more calcium than a one cup class of milk
  • Oranges: One Naval Orange contains approximately 60 mg of calcium
  • Beans
  • Green Peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Quinoa
  • Seeds
  • Hemp

This blog is only scratching the very surface on the implications that drinking animal milk provides us with. I really hope you have found it of interest and use it as a foundation for your own research into the area.

If there are any queries or questions you may have about the topic, do not hesitate to call into Your Nuts and ask one of our friendly team members.   For now, take care!

Hannah. x

Freekeh-ly good Tabbouleh


Freekeh-ly good Tabbouleh

Freekeh-ly good Tabbouleh

 

Middle Eastern food seems to be ‘bang on trend’ at the moment. It seems to have coincided with a change in the weather. We Brits are eternally optimistic that today will be the start of Summer proper and we envisage ourselves grazing from dazzling platefuls of fresh and delicious salads, eaten outdoors on those balmy evenings whilst our children romp in the garden unattached from electronica, once more discovering nature in all its bounty.......

Whether you’re lucky enough to achieve this ideal or not, you can’t go wrong with serving up something inspired by the Middle East – this style of food oozes Summer flavours, even when the weather lets you down.

I was listening to the Persian cook Sabrina Ghayour on the radio the other day. She was talking through her store cupboard essentials. The list sounded delicious: saffron, preserved lemons, rose harissa, pomegranate molasses, ras-el-hanout (a spice mix similar to garam masala in Indian cuisine) and then finally sumac and za’atar. I suddenly remembered buying the last two on this list the last time I shopped at Your Nuts.

Sumac is a red berry which has a great zingy citrus flavour. It is sold in granules and is great for sprinkling on salads or used to season meat and fish. Za’atar is basically a herb mix based on dried thyme and sometimes oregano or marjoram; it also includes sesame seeds.

I knew I also had a packet of freekeh which had been sitting waiting for a moment of inspiration. Freekeh (as well as sounding quite 70’s cool) is basically wheat which has been roasted when young and green to create nutty little grains similar to quinoa or couscous. It’s high in protein and is a great source of fibre.IMG_8431

I embarked upon re-creating a dish I remembered fondly from trips to southern France when I was younger. I think this period of my life was when I was really started to get inspired by food. Experiencing French markets and even supermarkets and seeing the selection of fresh, unprocessed foods was a complete eye-opener for me. Just the smell of cantaloupe melons and the taste of huge, vine-ripened tomatoes can transport me back to the floor of Intermarché....

I remember eating ‘tabbouleh’ with lots of meals – a type of salad that was quite revolutionary to a British palate in those days. Its base was couscous and was packed with fresh flavours of mint, parsley, olive oil and tomatoes. I’m guessing this type of food came to France via the influence of North Africa immigration. My father and I tried to recreate it once and couldn’t quite work out why the couscous turned to a solid, sticky lump (we didn’t translate the ‘leave to soak’ bit from the instructions on the packet and boiled the life out of it instead). We reverted to buying the salad in a packet (it came with a jar of sauce which you added to the cooked couscous but it never really tasted as good as the real thing.

Here is my homage to that recipe brought up to date with the addition of some of those Middle Eastern spices. It is based on a recipe in a book I have recently been reading; Deepak Chopra’s ‘Grow Younger, Live Longer’. I have the lovely Mel to thank for encouraging me to experience Chopra’s writing – I can thoroughly recommend. I can really resonate with his beliefs in the balance of mind, body and spirit and fuelling all three with fresh, vital food is the key.

Enjoy,

Jo x

 

 

Freekeh Tabbouleh (inspired by Deepak Chopra)

Serves 4 (with plenty left over for next day’s lunch too!)

 

1 cup freekeh (or any other grain such as quinoa, bulgar wheat or couscous)

1 red onion, chopped

1 small courgette, chopped

1 small aubergine, chopped

½ red pepper, chopped

½ yellow pepper, chopped

2 tsp za’atar (or dried thyme)

8 green olives, sliced

1 tin mixed beans, drained and rinsed

6 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (I didn’t bother to skin or de-seed)

½ bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped (I used coriander)

½ bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped

 

Dressing:           Juice of 1 lime (or ½ a lemon)

                        2 tbsp olive oil (I used avocado oil)

                        2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

                        1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

                        1 clove garlic, crushed

                        Salt and pepper

                        Sumac (to garnish)

 

Fry the onions, courgette, aubergine and peppers in a little olive oil and the za’atar until they have softened but still have some bite (the aubergine absorbs the oil quite quickly so either add a little more or just keep it cooking on a very low heat). Leave them to cool a little.

Meanwhile, cook your grains of choice, drain and leave to cool too.

Add all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl and whisk the dressing together before tossing it into the salad.  Garnish with a sprinkling of sumac.

Food for Fitness


Food for Fitness

Food for Fitness.

Last week I found myself speaking to a customer who explained that his interest in Your Nuts started with discovering foods and supplements that supported his body whilst running and swimming. The conversation got me thinking; do people involved in ‘fitness’ have healthier diets? Can people who aren’t so heavily involved with physical activity learn from those who are? In light of those questions, here we have a blog about foods for fitness; inspired by our lovely customers!

Here are some interesting facts:

  • Tiredness is the most common complaint cited in doctors’ surgeries today.  Over the last fortnight/month try and recollect how you’ve felt. Perhaps you’ve experienced flagging energy levels, lack of concentration, feeling unrefreshed after a goodnights sleep, mood swings or food cravings. These can all be symptoms of tiredness.
  • A shocking 50% of all UK adults are overweight and the number of seriously obese adults has trebled in the last 20 years.
  • The amount of adults diagnosed with diabetes has doubled in the past 20 years
  • Adults developing heart disease has increased by 25 per cent since the late 1980s, resulting in 2.65 million people now living with this crippling condition.

These are concerning statistics but perhaps even more frightening is that almost any Western country has a similar picture emerging.

So why are these health trends occurring? The real key to understanding this lies in our past. The diet and lifestyle of Westerners has changed almost beyond recognition over the past century. This in itself wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that our basic physiology and biochemistry remain almost exactly the same as those of our ancestors 1,000 years ago. Consequently, there is a mismatch between the foods that we eat and the foods that our bodies really need.

Although our ancestors ate the same amount of calories as we do today, if not more, they were much more active than we are and obtained considerably fewer of their calories from carbohydrates. Their carbohydrate sources were beans, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, fibrous fruits and berries. Lack of refrigeration and little knowledge of food processing meant that much of this food remained relatively unchanged from the field to the plate. Consequently, most of the processing of their food was done by the body after they had eaten it. This took the body a long time, resulting in a gradual, sustained release of sugars into the bloodstream, leaving them feeling full and satisfied for longer.

                                                                 

                                                          

oatsBy contrast, today flour is ground as thin as talcum powder to enable us to bake the lightest, fluffiest cakes and breads. Preferred fruit varieties are those that are high in sugar and low in fibre because they taste better. Cereals are so highly processed that they become unrecognizable, then refined sugars are added to them to make many of the foods we see on our supermarket shelves. Fibre-filled pulses are often absent from our food cupboards. Instead they have been replaced by highly refined, fatty, fast foods that take little time to prepare and even less time to digest.

As a result, almost every meal we eat contains the sorts of carbohydrates that break down quickly and release their sugars rapidly into the bloodstream, such as baked potatoes, chips, easy-cook rice, biscuits, cereals, cakes, breads and fast foods. And it is these foods that are contributing to many of our health problems. While it may not be possible or even desirable to return to eating habits of old, thanks to extensive testing of carbohydrate foods by leading researchers, we can now monitor the sorts of carbs we eat on a scale called the ‘glycaemic index’.

 

The sugars in high-GI foods are broken down quickly so they do not supply a sustained source of energy. Instead, they cause our blood sugar levels to rise rapidly. The body has to respond to this by making large quantities of the blood sugar-lowering hormone; insulin and releasing it into the blood. Unfortunately, insulin is often too good at its job and instead of just reducing blood sugar levels to a desirable level, it sends them plummeting to levels lower than they were originally. This sets up a yo-yo effect as the body then responds by making us crave fatty, sugary foods in an attempt to make our blood sugar levels rise once more.  

Food Cravings and Lethargy.

Many of us experience this yo-yo effect as the ‘mid-afternoon lull’. We eat a high-GI lunch – sandwiches or a baked potato, for example – and by 3.30pm we are not only feeling tired, lethargic and lacking in concentration but we are positively craving something sweet to give us that much needed energy boost. This often happens again after the evening meal when we find ourselves heading back to the kitchen for a dessert, some chocolate biscuits or a glass of wine just a short while after having eaten.

 

Weight Gain and the High GI Diet.

A diet rich in high-GI foods can cause you to eat more calories (and therefore gain weight) for two reasons. The first is that high-GI foods are quick to break down. The quicker a food breaks down, the sooner you will become hungry and the more likely you will be to want to eat again. Secondly, high-GI foods will cause your blood sugar levels to rapidly rise and then fall, which in turn results in strong urges to eat fatty, sugary foods shortly after a meal. Both points are compounded by the fact that another of insulin’s main roles is to promote fat storage. So the more insulin you have in your blood the more likely you are to store any excess calories you eat as fat.

 

Lack of Concentration and Mood Swings.

The brain is entirely fuelled by blood sugar. Therefore, when levels drop as a result of the excessive production of insulin it becomes more difficult to concentrate. Research has also found that low blood sugar levels are often linked to mood swings, reduced reaction times and even depression.

 

If you’re starting a new healthy eating routine or you’re simply wanting to improve your fitness/health, adjusting some of your diet to replace high GI with low GI carbohydrates should give you great results.  Below are a few other examples of options for food switching:

 

alamondAlmonds
Runners should eat a small handful of almonds at least three to five times per week. Nuts, especially almonds, are an excellent source of vitamin E an antioxidant that many runners fall short on because there are so few good food sources of it. Studies have shown that eating nuts several times per week lowers cholesterol levels, particularly the artery-clogging LDL type, decreasing your risk for heart disease. And the form of vitamin E found in nuts, called gamma-tocopherol (a form not typically found in supplements), may also help protect against cancer.

 

Add to your diet: Add almonds and other nuts to salads or pasta dishes, use as a topping for casseroles, or throw them into your bowl of cereal for extra crunch. Combine with chopped dried fruit, soy nuts, and chocolate bits for a healthy and tasty trail mix. Almond butter is perfect spread over whole-grain toast or on a whole-wheat tortilla, topped with raisins, and rolled up. Store all nuts in jars or zipper bags in a cool dry place away from sunlight and they'll keep for about two to four months. Storing them in the freezer will allow them to keep an extra month or two.

 

black beanCanned Black Beans
One cup of these beauties provides 30 percent of the daily value for protein, almost 60 percent of the daily value for fiber (much of it as the cholesterol-lowering soluble type), and 60 percent of the daily value of folate, a B vitamin that plays a key role in heart health and circulation. Black beans also contain antioxidants and researchers theorize that this fiber-folate-antioxidant trio is why a daily serving of beans appears to lower cholesterol levels and heart-disease risk.

 

Add to your diet:

For a quick, hearty soup, open a can of black beans and pour into chicken or vegetable stock along with mixed veggies and your favorite seasonings. Mash beans with salsa for an instant dip for cut veggies, or spread onto a whole-wheat tortilla for a great recovery meal. Add beans to cooked pasta or rice for extra fiber and protein.

 

saladMixed Salad Greens
Rather than selecting one type of lettuce for your salad choose mixed greens which typically offer five or more colorful delicate greens such as radicchio, butter leaf, curly endive, and mache. Each variety offers a unique blend of phytonutrients that research suggests may fend off age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. These phytonutrients also act as antioxidants warding off muscle damage brought on by tough workouts. You can usually buy mixed greens in bulk or prewashed in bags.

Add to your diet: Toss a mixed greens salad with tomato, cucumber, spring onions, and an olive oil-based dressing (the fat from the oil helps your body absorb the phytonutrients). You can also stuff mixed greens in your sandwiches, wraps, and tacos. Or place them in a heated skillet toss lightly until wilted and use as a bed for grilled salmon, chicken, or lean meat. Greens store best in a salad spinner or the crisper drawer in your fridge for up to six days. (Just don't drench them in water or they won't keep as long.) 

 

chocolateDark Chocolate
Everyone deserves at least one indulgence—especially one you can feel so good about. Dark chocolate contains potent antioxidants called flavonol’s that can boost heart health. In one study, a group of soccer players had lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels and less artery-clogging LDL cholesterol after just two weeks of eating chocolate daily. Other research study suggests that the flavonol’s in dark chocolate ease inflammation and help prevent blood substances from becoming sticky, lowering the risk of potential blood clots. But not just any chocolate will do! First off, dark chocolate (the darker the better) generally contains more flavonol’s than milk chocolate. Also, the way the cocoa beans are processed can influence the potency of the flavonol’s, so raw chocolate bars or cacao nibs are best in class!

 

Add to your diet: Besides the obvious (just eat it!), you can add dark chocolate to trail mix, dip it in peanut butter (my favorite) or combine it with fruit for an even greater antioxidant punch.

 

If you would like any help or assistance with your journey into a healthier lifestyle, please do not hesitate to call in, email or telephone Your Nuts. We would be delighted to help.

Wishing you happiness and good health.

 

 

 

Ayurveda


Ayurveda

 

Budda

Working in a health food shop, it should go without mention that I place food very highly on my list of priorities.  Food is fuel and good food, eaten at the right times in the right portion size and at the right pace has huge benefits to overall health and wellbeing.

However, through the constraints of work, time, financial difficulties etc,. we sometimes cannot eat what we wish, when we wish.  And this pattern is something I see extended into other elements of our lives, creating a bigger and bigger imbalance as we work harder, faster and for longer and therefore reduce the amount of time we set aside for being kind to ourselves.   

So, perhaps there is no better time than now to introduce the basics of Ayurveda to those of you who are seeking a better balance in life.

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally translates as “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity”.  It is an ancient yet timeless philosophy that gives you the means of attaining and maintaining your own optimal health and well-being.  The wise seers and sages of the time understood the disconnectedness of the mind-body-spirit and the Ayurvedic principles were passed directly from teacher to apprentice through the generations. The beauty in the way the teachings have been explained is that they rely on basic principles which can be applied practically in any culture and age; and this is why Ayurveda continues to thrive in both the East and the West.

The basic building blocks are:

[1]          Well-being requires a balance of body, mind and spirit.

[2]          Thedigestive fire’ must always be supported so that nutrients can be absorbed and waste materials can be eliminated.

[3]          Ayurveda views the world in light of 3 constitutional principles (doshas): vatha, pitha, and kaptha.

  • Vatha:  Vatha is associated with the qualities of air and space and regulates the principle of movement.  Any bodily motion—chewing, swallowing, nerve impulses, breathing, muscle movements, thinking, peristalsis, bowel movements, urination, menstruation—requires balanced vatha. When vatha is out of balance, any number of these movements may be deleteriously affected.

 

  • Pitha:  Pitta brings forth the qualities of fire and water and is the principle of transformation; it is in play any time the body converts or processes something.  So pitha oversees digestion, metabolism, temperature maintenance, sensory perception, and comprehension.  Imbalanced pitha can lead to pain and inflammation in these areas in particular.

 

  • Kaptha:  Kaptha, composed of earth and water, governs stability and structure; it forms the substance of the human body, from the skeleton to various organs to the fatty molecules (lipids) that support the body. An excess of kaptha leads to an overabundance of density and heaviness in the body.

Ayurveda 1

[4]          The key to Ayurvedic wellness and healing is the knowledge that health is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Each person has a unique Ayurvedic constitution(their prakriti).  Determining your prakriti requires an assessment of a person’s most natural physical, mental and emotional state.   Useful guidelines can be found at www.ayurveda.com/pdf/constitution

[5]          Movement away from your prakriti creates dosha imbalances (vikruti); if such imbalances are not addressed, Ayurveda predicts that illness may develop. So, the early signs of imbalance serve as a wakeup call to make gentle and natural adjustments to return to balance.

The first line of defense in combating imbalances is to remove the cause of the problem. If the trouble-maker is eliminated, the body starts being able to heal itself.   The cause of the problem could be physical, emotional or spiritual, so there is a need to seek the true source.

Typically, balance is helped to be restored in Ayurvedic medicine by employing the opposite of the problem. For example, the Ayurvedic remedy for excess acidity in the digestive system could be cooling and soothing herbs.  Ayurveda presents a vast toolbox of treatment modalities to choose from, such as:

 

Through the process of researching Ayurveda, I’ve realised that my traditional Western way of viewing my life in ‘categories’ is somewhat problematic. Food, Wellbeing, Relationships, Relaxation, Work, Socializing is what we typically try to balance. Now, I’ve awakened to the view that once you see things in terms of the Ayuvrvedic principles of achieving balance, the world and by extension your life comes alive in a new way.   

This blog, is a very basic introduction to the philosophy of Ayurveda.   I hope it provides you with a template to find more balance in your life…or perhaps provide a template to look at your life through a different perspective.

If you would like to read more about Ayurveda, I have two recommendations for futher reading, both by the brilliant Deepak Chopra:

  • Perfect Health
  • Magical Mind Magical Body

 

With love and good wishes for your health & well-being, Hannah x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Ways to Relieve Anxiety


Natural Ways to Relieve Anxiety

Natural Ways to Relieve Anxiety

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about natural remedies which aid sleep. Whilst writing and researching, I realised just how much anxiety affects our sleep and thus our day to day lives.  Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at some point in their lives – in fact some people thrive on it.  But for those that don’t, the experience can be isolating and frightening.  The threshold of coping with anxiety is different with every individual and there is no right or wrong way to manage the symptoms and solve the root cause. This is a very close subject for me at the moment so, as an extension to my sleep blog, I wanted to write an article purely about anxiety and natural remedies that help me to ease the grips of a bad bout.

I suppose everyone has their go-to remedies if they’ve suffered for a while; the majority of people I speak to carry a little something with them, whether that be some lozenges, some Rescue Remedy or a mantra they carry in their heads. My recent personal preference is

Floradix Lemon Balm Tea.

floradix tea   

As a remedy, this tea has been used since the middle ages to help promote sleep, appetite and ease panic. Lemon Balm is part of the mint family so expect a cooling herbal flavour on your first mouthful. The only set back with having tea as a go-to, is there isn’t always tea making facilities close by. So if you like the sound of Lemon Balm, but work/study in an environment where making a calming brew proves difficult, why not make up a flask before you head off. Herbal teas are just as nice drank cold in the summer months whilst still providing all the healthy benefits, so you could even make it the night before and let it cool.

 

                      tick tock   

Green tea is another favourite. Packed full with L-Theanine, an amino acid that is a caffeine antagonist, meaning it combats the stimulating effects of caffeine consumed throughout the day.  As the majority of us know caffeine is a powerful stimulant that keeps us alert and awake. The polar opposite of what our bodies need in the heat of an anxious turn. So, if your beginning to notice slight changes in your behaviour and you’re beginning to feel more on edge/nervous than before why not try swapping your regular ‘breakfast brew’ for a caffeine free green tea.

If you follow these blogs, you’ll be more than aware that I’m a huge fan of aromatherapy and essential oil. Patchouli

                           patchouli

is my number one anxiety busting scent. I carry it everywhere, I dab it on my scarves, jumpers, t-shirts. In fact, I’m beginning to be known as the incense lady amongst friends!

 

After a discussion about essential oils my friend invested in the idea and spent time trying to identify which scent works best for her. She’s narrowed it down to Ylang Ylang and hasn’t looked back since .Ylang-Ylang Flowers

 

 I tend to stick to the motto each to their own with essential oil, but an almost guaranteed result will come from using Lavender.

lavender

So many studies have shown how Lavender scientifically makes the human subject more relaxed, so this is a great starting point if you are new to the joys of aromatherapy.

Alongside working at Your Nuts and loving all things nutritious and organic, I have my writing. I’m (dare I say it) a ‘part-time’ spoken word poet so it comes as no surprise that writing is one of my top anxiety busting tricks; it’s rare that I’ll venture out anywhere without my journal and a pen. Although writing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the process is one that forces us to use perspective in order to articulate our feelings. Sometimes, this perspective helps ease the sudden rush of anxiety and helps us see that the things we’re anxious about can always be challenged. Writing as a method to soothe anxiety helps me because it makes use of the experience of anxiety and channels the energy gathered into something much more positive that I can later reflect on.

 

yoga   Meditation, yoga, simple mindful activities and aerobic exercise have also helped my colleagues at Your Nuts enormously in the management of their stresses and anxieties.  There are lots of local organisations that can support on an individual level or in small groups and an internet search will quickly identify ones that best fit your needs.

I could go on and on with the topic of anxiety, however, I won’t… instead I’ll ask that if you are suffering please pop in to Your Nuts or call (01484 680126) or email (info@yournutswholefoods.com).  Any of our lovely team would love to talk to you and see if there’s anything we can do to help. Your Nuts has an array of expertise and wonderful products that combat anxiety and it’d be a pleasure to help anyone who’s on a similar journey! So please, don’t suffer in silence.

With love and good wishes for your health & well-being, Hannah x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health benefits of alkalising the body


 Health benefits of alkalising the body

You may have heard word on the grapevine about the health benefits of alkalising the body. It’s true that the body needs to be slightly alkaline to be at its healthiest. Your cells, the chemical reactions inside them, the beneficial bacteria in your gut and your immune system all work better in a slightly alkaline environment. An acid body means your systems do not work as efficiently as they should. It is important to maintain a balance PH (Potential Hydrogen) level in our body but the majority of us are unsure about what this is or how it’s maintained. PH is used to measure how much alkaline or acid food is left inside the body. It is said that a body that has a balanced PH level has the measure of 7.0. Human blood however needs an additional amount of alkaline so a PH measure between 7.35 – 7.45 is deemed as good.

The range of PH levels are from 0 to 14. The more that our PH measures lean towards zero the more acidic a person is. If it is leaning towards 14, it means that the body is very alkaline. However, if the measures go above or below these figures, more problems can be caused; such as the destruction of cells.

Processed foods are mostly acid rich foods while naturally produced foods are alkaline rich. At the present time, a vast majority of foods that are available in the supermarkets are heavily processed allowing us to ingest more acid than our body needs.
It is not difficult to find these alkaline rich foods since they are available everywhere. Foods that are produced naturally are mostly rich in alkaline; organic fruits and vegetables are just some of them.

Alkaline rich food does not only affect our blood but also our cells. Too much acid in a person can cause destruction of cells in the body. Alkaline helps to prevent deterioration of cells. In this regard, the aging of a person is shown to be slowed down and it has been recorded that individuals tend to feel more energetic and healthy. In conjunction, having more alkaline in the body helps with preventing or healing some harmful diseases. So what can you do at home to alkalise the body?

Food and Factors that will help alkalise the body:

  • Multi-strain probiotics
  • Greens especially green vegetables, chlorella and wheatgrass, plus fibrous cruciferous vegetables and broccoli, alfa-alfa
  • Vegetables and natural herbs like aubergines, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, celery, chard, chicory, chives, cucumber, dandelion, dill, endive, fennel, green beans, kale, kelp, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnips, peppers, potatoes, radishes, sorrel, soya beans, spinach, squash, turnips, watercress
  • Whole grains, seeds, nuts
  • Olive oil, fish oils, flaxseed oil, walnut oil
  • Sunshine and vitamin D
  • Ginger, natural willow bark, garlic, onions, apples, curcumin/turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
  • Virtually all fresh fruits especially apples, apricot, avocado, blackberries, blackcurrants, cherries, cranberries, currants, raisons, dates, figs, grapes, lemons, limes, lychees, mangoes, melon, olives, oregano, papaya, peaches, pears, raspberries, redcurrants
  • Raw honey, especially Manuka; raw molasses
  • Whole brown rice
  • Medicinal mushrooms
  • Exercise, yoga, meditation
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Apple cider vinegar (raw organic), fresh lemon or lime juice

Food and Factors that make the body more acidic:

  • Synthetic oestrogens
  • Meat especially mass-market fatty red meat and offal
  • Fruits and vegetables picked unripe and shipped a long way
  • Pulses if you do not skim off the phytic acid when you cook them
  • Shell fish especially prawns, crab, scallops
  • Processed, prepared, canned foods - because of the sodium chloride content
  • Dried meats hams, sausage, bacon - because of the sodium chloride content
  • Chinese foods because of the MSG content
  • All refined carbohydrate products pasta, white bread, white rice, pies, pastries, cakes, noodles, refined breakfast cereals, doughnuts, dumplings
  • Salted snacks crisps, peanuts
  • All cow’s dairy
  • Fizzy sweet drinks
  • Prepared fruit juices and smoothies (high sugar, processed)
  • Caffeine stimulates liver to release glucose into blood stream (even diet drinks!)
  • Preservatives, jams.
  • Pickled products
  • Alcohol, especially beer and spirits
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress, negative emotions, guilt

If you are concerned with your health, you should always remember that maintaining a healthy balance is the best way to take care of your body. Equipping yourself with the knowledge that is needed to heal your body is the best weapon to fight elements that can affect and deteriorate health. If you would like to know more about an Alkalising diet call into Your Nuts and speak to one of our helpful team.

 

 

 

 

 

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