Dance Yourself Fit during ‘Two Left Feet Week’

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

 

Two Left Feet Week 2015 is all about encouraging us get out and about and start dancing.  In doing so, you can improve your posture, balance and co-ordination.  Dancing will also help to strengthen and tone the muscles in your legs, back and shoulders.

According to the NHS, to stay healthy, adults should try to be active daily and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities.

To start dancing you can be any age, any size, any ability and you don’t need to be sporty or fit.

If you’ve always professed to have “two left feet” – maybe it’s time have a rethink, especially if you are trying to improve your gut health. Love Your Gut’s exercise expert – Sophie Christy – notes “ It may seem strange, but exercise can really help improve your digestive health. That doesn’t mean preparing your body to run a marathon; it’s about taking simple steps every day to better health” http://bit.ly/1C9otsf

For further information on Two Left Week Feet 2015 see:  http://bit.ly/1GbsXdv

NHS Guide – Dance for Fitness seehttp://bit.ly/1CQHP33

 

 

Supplements for Summer Gut Health – Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s)

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Fats are essential for human life and health. They have numerous functions in the body, from helping to make up cell membranes, to hormone production, vitamin absorption, energy storage and insulation. The health and integrity of our organs relies heavily on receiving enough of the right dietary fats. When it comes to bowel health, research has shown that polyunsaturated fats can have a positive affect on the gut microbiota. They also possess anti-inflammatory properties and therefore have been linked with gut related disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.

Fats are often categorised into those which are ‘good’ and those which are ‘bad’. Although, the two main types of fat are saturated fats and unsaturated fats and it is the balance of these fats which is so important to health status.

Know your fats…

Kippers

Saturated fat Mainly found in animal based products, these are generally considered to be the ‘bad’ type of fats. Sources include: harder fats like lard, butter, fat on meats, fatty meat products and pastries, as well as in full-fat dairy foods and many takeaway meals.

Unsaturated fat: These are mainly plant based fats and are well known for their reported health benefits. There are two types of unsaturated fat: polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat.

Monounsaturated fats – can be found in olive and rapeseed oils, red meat, whole milk products, nuts and high-fat fruits such as avocados.

Polyunsaturated fats – can be found in plant oils such as sunflower, soya, sesame, corn, as well as fish. There are different categories of polyunsaturated fats, which include the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are considered the essential fatty acids (EFA’s).

Supplements for Summer Gut Health – Glutamine

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

What is glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid and one of many important building blocks of protein, and therefore our muscles and immune cells.

Who might benefit from taking glutamine?

Glutamine is often used in times of need, with a number of proposed uses of glutamine. It is frequently taken after exercise to try and help increase muscle glycogen deposition, support the immune system and improve muscle fatigue.

Glutamine is a major fuel for the intestines, and as a result, its use in certain gut related issues has been widely discussed.  Digestive inflammation can increase the need for glutamine and it is commonly recommended for those with leaky gut in an attempt to help repair the integrity of the cells found here.

So where can you get glutamine from in nature?

Great sources include:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and parsley

 

 

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Supplements for Summer Gut Health – Aloe Vera

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Aloe Vera and Gut Health

Aloe vera has a long history of use as a therapeutic agent and is commonly used orally and topically around the world. The products aloe vera gel and latex are sourced from the leaves of the aloe vera plant. There is some supporting evidence to suggest that the consumption of aloe vera products might be beneficial to health by helping to heal the gut.

Peptic ulcers.

Aloe vera has been found to be an effective treatment in those suffering with gastric and duodenal ulcers. These anti-ulcer effects have been attributed to the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of aloe vera as well as its ability to inhibit gastric acid secretion. Aloe vera has also been found to be an effective anti-inflammatory in the Helicobacter pylori (H.Pylori) infection. H.Pylori is a common pathogen which can be responsible for causing gastric ulcers.

Constipation.

Aloe vera contains compounds known as anthraquinones which have a laxative effect on the body through increasing the water content in the intestines and playing a role in the contraction and relaxation of the intestinal muscle. Therefore aloe vera is commonly used in the treatment of constipation.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Aloe vera is often considered as an alternative therapy for those suffering with IBS, particularly when constipation is the predominant symptom. However, one study comparing the effectiveness of aloe vera against a placebo in those suffering with IBS found that the consumption of aloe vera failed to show any improvements in the quality of life in these individuals.

How can I include aloe vera in my diet?

One of the most easily accessible forms of aloe vera in the diet is through aloe vera juice or capsules.  Aloe vera juice is now becoming relatively easy to source in the UK market and can be purchased from a range of health stores as well as in the world foods section of many supermarkets. However, make sure to pay close attention to the ingredients as many of these products are packed with added sugar. Aloe vera capsules are available in different strengths from a wide range of health stores and can be taken daily as an alternative therapy for some of the conditions above.

Diabetes Week, 14th-20th June 2015

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Diabetes week is here and to show our support, Love Your Gut has put together some healthy recipes using a star ingredient- sweet potato. Sweet potato is a great replacement for white potatoes; it has a lower glycaemic index (GI) meaning blood glucose levels rise more steadily leading to a slower rise in insulin after digestion. Sweet potatoes are also packed with fibre and other nutrients such as vitamin C and vitamin A (beta carotene). For a great alternative to the typical white potato check out the below recipes:

Veggie sweet potato and cottage pie

Great as a midweek alternative to standard cottage pie.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped10349614_637688159659955_1882076475_n
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 large sweet potato, peeled, chopped and boiled
  • 1 carton tomato passata
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • A handful of pumpkin seeds
  • Sea salt and black pepper for seasoning
  • of vegetable oil
  • Dash of milk (can use almond or soya)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Fry chopped vegetables with onion, garlic and beans in oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato passata and continue simmering over a medium heat for a further 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary.
  • Mash the cooked sweet potato together with the milk.
  • Place the vegetable mix into a lasagne dish and top with the mashed sweet potato, spreading it across evenly.
  • Top the sweet potato with the pumpkin seeds and bake for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Not so naughty nachos

Enjoy a favourite treat, minus the guilt, with this high fibre nacho dish!

Ingredients

For the sweet potato crisps:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped thinly
  • Pinch sea salt10932475_625429537585791_86531078_n
  • Tbsp of vegetable or coconut oil

For the guacamole:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Juice of a lime
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • ½ medium spiced fresh chili pepper, finely chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the topping:

  • One can of mixed beans, drained
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  •  1 tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 onion
  • Sea salt for seasoning
  • Natural yoghurt for topping

 

 Method

  • Place the oil onto a medium sized baking tray and preheat in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake for a further 10 minutes or until they appear crispy.
  • Meanwhile prepare the guacamole by placing the avocado flesh into a food processor along with the lime juice, onion, coriander, chili and sea salt. Blend until you have a desired consistency. Tip– blend on a low setting for several seconds for a chunky guacamole.
  • Prepare the topping by frying the onion together with the can of mixed beans for 5 minutes over a medium heat.
  • Add the can of chopped tomatoes as well as the chili powder and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Season with salt.
  • Place the sweet potato chips onto a large plate. Top with the mixed bean chili, followed by the guacamole.
  • Top with some natural yogurt and tuck in!

 

To find out more about Diabetes Week 2015, visit the Diabetes UK website.

 

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