Monday, June 27th, 2011
Whether we buy lunch or bring a pack lunch to work, due to convenience and lack of thought, what we eat can become rather boring, monotonous and not necessarily stimulate us nutritionally. This could result in our cognitive performance diminishing and we may struggle to get through a long afternoon of meetings/work in the office.
Why not try some of the suggestions below to help us stay alert, contribute to our five a day and of course …… help with our digestive health.
- Apricot, raisin and roasted vegetable wholemeal cous cous – This will contribute to your five a day, is filling and the wholemeal cous cous will also not only add texture but also increase your fibre intake, improve overall digestive health and keep us fuller for longer.
- Mexican bean salad – The spices used add vibrant flavours to quite bland ingredients as well as being a good source of fibre.
- Banana and Blueberry muffins – Try using wholemeal flour instead of refined or white flour. This help to increase our fibre intake, add texture to the muffins and most importantly help keep our bowel movements regular. The banana will provide us with a source of potassium and blueberries, which are known to be a ‘Super food’, are packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as C and A.
- Zucchini Muffins – Yes, this sounds an unusual combination however savoury foods often make delicious ‘guilt free’ treats. Why not experiment and try other vegetable combinations. It will definitely be a fun way in aiming to achieve your five a day.
Monday, June 20th, 2011
Strawberries – They contain more vitamin C than oranges, are high in fibre, low in calories and a good source of folic acid.
Blackberries – Good source of folate and vitamin E. Studies show that blackberries may reduce the risk of heart disease and inhibit colon cancer.
Raspberries – High in antioxidant vitamin C and dietary fibre.
Blueberries – High in vitamin C. an essential antioxidant, giving enhanced immunity against disease, promoting healing and keeping gums healthy. High in dietary fibre. They keep our digestive system in good working order. An essential acid for the development of nervous system in the unborn child
All of the above berries are high in antioxidant and dietary fibre, which will contribute to a healthy gut.
Why not give the below recipe a go this summer…
Grilled Summer Berry Pudding
- 4 slices of white sliced bread, crusts removed
- 85g golden caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 200g / 8oz tub low-fat fromage frais
- 300g mixed summer berries
- Preheat the grill to high. Lay the slices of bread slightly overlapping in a shallow flameproof dish. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the sugar in an even layer over the bread and grill for about two minutes until the bread is toasted and the sugar is just starting to caramelise. Mix the cornflour into the fromage frais.
- Pile the fruit down the middle of the bread and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the sugar. Drop spoonfuls of the fromage frais mixture on top, then sprinkle the rest of the sugar over evenly.
- Put the dish as close to the heat as you can and grill for about 6-8 minutes, until the fromage frais has browned and everything else is starting to bubble and turn juicy. Leave it to sit for a minute or two, then serve hot, spooned straight from the dish.
Enjoy a refreshing summer!!
Monday, June 13th, 2011
This time of year can be quite stressful for those that are taking exams. With long revision sessions and the stress of taking exams, our body can become run down making us more susceptible the common cold and other ailments. Our eating habits are also not always the best when revising .We want to maximise study time and therefore want to be able to grab something quickly meaning the nutritional value will be less of a consideration. We also tend to opt for sugary and fatty foods such as crisps and chocolate as snacks. Whilst these will give us energy to keep us going they will only provide us with short sharp boosts of energy which will then be followed by a ‘slump’ making us feel tired, restless and your concentration levels will be poor, all spelling a recipe for disaster in helping us get the grades we want.
Why not try the advice below to help you on your way to achieving the grades you deserve.
- Got a sweet tooth? Why not opt for dried fruit such as apricots, dates or cranberries. These are packed full of vitamins and minerals including fibre which will help you maintain a healthy gut and keep you fuller for longer. This snack will satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you will energy to help maintain your concentration levels.
- Top up your five a day with carrot and celery sticks dipped in hummus. This is quick, cheap and easy to prepare. Hummus is a good source of insoluble fibre which will keep us fuller for longer and provides us with slow releasing energy.
- Short sharp bursts of revision are best. We tend to not take a much in if we are sitting reading for hours. Why not split your revision sessions up by going for a short walk. This will help keep your mind active.
- Vary your revision methods. Continuously reading text will become boring and monotonous. You could try making bullet point notes, recording yourself and replaying it back or perhaps make mind maps/flow diagrams.
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
Holidays planned? Or staying in the UK? Whatever your plans may be, it will be good to maintain a healthy gut as you wouldn’t want the likes of diarrhoea, constipation, heartburn or bloating ruining your holiday! A few lifestyle tips to consider so you can enjoy and relax during your time off!
- Top up on fibre intake – try to eat more high-fibre cereals or dried fruits, which can help digestion and reduce constipation. For a healthy bowel, you need a variety of fibre such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, fruit and veg, beans and oats.
- Stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids, especially water. It encourages the passage of waste through your digestive system and helps soften stools. Fibre acts like a sponge, absorbing water, and without fluid the fibre can’t do its job, causing constipation.
- Reduce fat intake – fatty foods, such as chips, burgers and fried foods, are harder to digest and can cause stomach pain and heartburn. Cutting back on greasy, fried foods eases your stomach’s workload. Try to eat more lean meat and fish, drink skimmed or semi-skimmed milk and grill rather than fry foods.
- Be prepared – if you’re travelling visit your GP beforehand to see if there are any vaccinations you may need to have before travelling to your chosen destination. Probiotics are so-called ‘friendly bacteria’ that also occur naturally in the gut and have been linked to all sorts of health benefits, including helping irritable bowel syndrome and traveller’s diarrhoea. You can also consider prebiotic foods in your diet such as asparagus, onions, and artichokes.
- Stay active – long periods of inactivity can make the digestive system sluggish so if you’re travelling on the plane do your leg exercises as suggested in your flight handbook or walk up and down the aisle every so often. When you’re relaxing by the pool or lying on the sun loungers, get up and move around every hour.