Turmeric – The Wonder Spice

July 26th        Uncategorized    No Comments

Turmeric

Turmeric is the root stalk of a tropical plant that’s part of the ginger family. One of the main components of the spice is a substance called curcumin which has potentially healing properties. It has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine

I like to sprinkle on scrambled egg, steamed veggies, add to smoothies and juices…or you can make 1 of my wellness shots (see earlier articles)

Its a very strong colour and also flavour….and can be added to all cooking and drinks….Im not a BIG fan of spices but Turmeric for me is a winner.

Turmeric has powerful antioxidant & Inflammatory effects and this explains why many people with joint disease find relief when they use the spice regularly. Its antioxidant actions enable it to protect the colon cells from free radicals that can damage cellular DNA

It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions
Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.

It turns out that curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Arthritis is a common disorder characterised by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

Turmeric helps the body to destroy mutated cancer cells, so they cannot spread through the body and cause more harm. Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer (the sciencey bit)

Enhances liver function and helps the liver’s ability to detoxify

Good source of vitamin B6

Cholesterol-lowering effects are the result of the curry spice’s active constituent, curcumin,

Growing evidence suggests that turmeric may afford protection against neurodegenerative diseases. Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.

Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression. There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine

See…you NEED Turmeric in your life….

It has endless benefits

Jen x

Avocado Love

July 23rd        Uncategorized    No Comments

I LOVE AVOCADO’S – who else is with me??

Avocado!

Nutrient Rich
Good source of Healthy Fats
Help towards weight loss
Avocado might just help fight inflammation, thanks to its oleic acid content
contains over 20% of your daily dose of Vitamin E which protects body tissue from damage by free radicals, thought to play a role in ageing.
Instead of buying expensive Vitamin E enriched skincare creams, eat avocados or try avocado oil and fight ageing from within!
Helps reduce cholesterol
Avocados contain a good helping of bone-healthy nutrients including Vitamin K, copper and folate.
Avocado extract has been proven to reduce symptoms of arthritis of the bones (osteoarthritis). Thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits, it may even relieve other sorts of inflammatory-related aches and pains too
Aim to hit your fibre target by eating more avocado – one fruit contains 13 grams, around 54% of your recommended daily fibre intake!
They’re loaded with folate, potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. – great for expectant mums
Adding an avocado to your lunchtime meal may help you avoid the 3pm slump! Of all three macronutrients (carbs, protein, fats), fat is the most concentrated source of energy for our bodies.
Healthy fats provide a slow, steady stream of energy so you can power right through the workday. In addition, when they’re eaten along with a carbohydrate, they slow the digestion of the carbs, meaning you won’t suffer the energy-zapping sugar crash that typically follows simple carbs like white bread.
Avocados are a great source of the B vitamins, which help you fight off illness and infection. They also give you plenty of Vitamin C and E – both natural immune boosters.
Copper is a brain stimulant, which is why avocados can be classed as a brain food. After all, they do contain almost 20% of your daily copper needs.

Reasons to LOVE Avocado
* No matter what eating guidelines you follow, the humble avocado works for all!
* Avocados are packed with beneficial nutrients to enhance the nutrient quality of your meals.
* Substitute butter and margarine for a healthy spread of avocado. You’ll boost your nutrient intake, and it tastes great! 
* Not a fan of fruit? Avocados are actually a fruit, so they count towards your fruit intake!
* Avocados are always in season so you can enjoy them all year round!
* Known for guacamole, dips, and other savoury dishes, yet avocados are appearing more and more in sweet dishes too. Think chocolate mousse, ganache, smoothies and ice cream!
* They’re low in sugar – They may be a fruit, but they contain less than 1g of sugar per ounce! WINNER!!!!!
* Great Baby Food – They’re firm enough for tiny fingers, yet mash-able and soft enough to be gentle on gums. Rich in healthy fats, fibre, and other nutrients, it makes a great addition to your baby’s first foods.
* Over 75% of the fat content in an avocado is great for your heart! In fact, having more of these healthy unsaturated fats is better for your heart than eating low fat!
* Simply cut an avocado in half, and fill with all sorts of things, even bake an egg in it
* They nourish your brain and nervous system – 1 serving of avocado contains 3.5g of unsaturated fat required for healthy brain and nervous system development
* They make all things creamy and delicious! Add some avocado to smoothies and shakes
* They have more potassium than a banana! – Bananas are known for their potassium content, but per 100g, the avocado fruit contains 485mg of potassium, that’s 127mg more than bananas! 
* They make a satisfying snack – All you need is a little himalayan salt, cracked pepper and a spoon! 
* There are plenty of ways to eat them -You can grill them, bake them, or eat them raw. 
* You can make ice cream with avocado! A brilliant, dairy-free, vegan alternative to store-bought ice cream varieties, simply blend 1/2 an avocado and a squeeze of lime juice with 2 tbsp of maple syrup and 1 cup of your milk of choice. Pour into ice block moulds and freeze. Delicious!

Do you Crave Chocolate at “that” time??

July 23rd        Uncategorized    No Comments

Food Cravings & Your Menstrual Cycle.

This is something that is very common amongst us Ladies…so common indeed that research shows at least 70% of women suffer from Food Cravings, Mood Swings and Irritability during their period.

Food Cravings are often a result of hormonal imbalances/hormones out of control…very often tied to inadequate Nutrition. Fluctuating hormones also have an effect on Brain Chemistry (Seretonin is a Brain Chemical…this will make more sense as you read on) So really to avoid any Food Cravings, its time we looked at our Diet and sorted our Hormones out…and YES it really is that SIMPLE!!!

During your period, do you get an intense craving for sweet, sugary foods? desperately seeking chocolate? Please know you’re not alone in these cravings, surveys have found that 50% of women consume more junk food during “Time of the Month”, typically eating more sugary foods, processed foods and takeaways. Many women really crave chocolate just before their period is due. This is because chocolate contains tryptophan which helps the release of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is one of the mood enhancers of the brain, and as we often feel moody around our period, eating chocolate really can make us feel better!

Because of other properties that are in chocolate, like potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium many doctors recommend that one square of dark bitter chocolate a day can actually be good for your general health.

I have been contacted by tons of women regarding this, especially as it plays havoc with some peoples lifestyles and tends to see them falling off the wagon and scoffing the BAD foods during this time of the month, but as I am sure you will agree we can’t keep using “time of the month” as an excuse…..as much as we would love too.

Before we start let me just say that having Cravings does NOT mean you have a lack of willpower….so STOP blaming YOUrself and just chill….and dont blame yourself, because by doing this you will only make your mood worse and your cravings will re-appear

OK…so yes every woman is different, but typically the menstrual cycle last 28 days in total…..with hormones floating around all over the place during this time….heres the geeky sciency bit – more over Einstein:

As Estrogen Levels fluctuate, so does Cortisol (the stress hormone) Levels, but the body wants to keep both of these levels even..therefore it causes us to “crave” Carbs/Bad Fats……and in walks the chocolate. Serotonin (Yeah I am sure you have all heard of this gem) is a brain chemical that gives feelings of contentment (Food and Exercise can trigger Seretonin by the way….but I know food is the more likely source for many) When Cortisol is elevated and Seretonin is Low we crave sugary foods, and this is simply because the body knows that simple carbs (bad carbs) will raise the Seretonin levels fast and this will more than likely be something you have all experienced – let me break it down – You dont control the signal that causes the carb/sugar craving, its the “simple” carbs that quickly release the Seretonin and then you feel “good” for a little bit and  then you CRASH (mid afternoon lull…when u reach for that mars bar?? ring a bell??)…and so it begins again…the Vicious Cycle.

When Seretonin is low…the brain needs a “pick me up” but as it is related to hormonal imbalances, sometimes the signals to the Brain get mixed up….which causes the Simple Carbs to step into action”

Magnesium Deficiency has also been known to cause these imbalances and cravings in Women (not just at times of month either)…so if you are not eating the right foods to get Magnesium into your diet, it may be worth supplementing with Magnesium!

It may also be worth keeping a “Food and Mood” Diary, by recording the type of foods you eat and if there is any emotional connection to them…you may be surprised and will more than likely see a pattern. Also keeping a Food Diary and noting what you eat during your period and how you felt…again you may see a pattern, you may be surprised at how linked they are. Food cravings are often a way for the body to compensate for missing nutrients that it needs.

Food cravings are often a way for the body to compensate for missing nutrients that it needs. For example eating foods containing magnesium and potassium  (green veggies, fruit or even taking a good magnesium supplement before bed, as this also aids with sleep and muscle recovery) is helpful if you have a tendency towards depression during your period. Low serotonin levels also play a part in depression, and eating chocolate and carbohydrates can help raise your serotonin levels.

So…before you grab that mega big choice bar, have a little look at what your diet looks like and if you need to supplement with magnesium…..

AND FINALLY if you MUST have chocolate go for good quality DARK Chocolate…just 1 square is all you need

Jen x