Apples aplenty!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Autumn is on its way, and as the sun rises later and later each day, waking-up can begin to feel like a bigger struggle.

Look around outside on your way to work or school; you may have noticed apples are in season, so why not get your day off to a refreshing start with this juicy fruit!

As well as providing a great source of fibre, apples also contain beneficial polyphenols.

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Try out the following simple recipe as a new way of eating apples?

Spiced pork tenderloin with sautéed apples

Ingredients:

• 3/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
• Cooking spray
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Braeburn or Gala apple
• 1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup apple cider
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Cooking time: 20min

Recipe:
1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine first 5 ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.
2. Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, 1/3 cup shallots, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; sauté 4 minutes or until apple starts to brown. Add apple cider to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until apple is crisp-tender. Stir in thyme leaves. Serve apple mixture with the pork.

If your children are not a big fan of eating fruit in the morning, why don’t you amuse them with bunny shaped apples and encourage them to eat before they go off to school.

How to cut apple rabbits:

1. Cut each apple into 6 or 8 wedges.
2. Cut the core out of each apple wedge.
3. Carefully score the apple skin with a knife in an inverted V shape.
4. Insert the knife under the apple skin and carefully move the blade to a little over the edge of the inverted V shape.
5. Remove the triangle section of apple skin. Soak apple rabbits in salt water for a few minutes to prevent them browning.
6. Serve apple rabbits for dessert or pack them in lunch boxes.

The information above was obtained from the following websites:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124078253000125

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814613002847

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spiced-pork-tenderloin-with-sauted-apples-10000002012820/

http://japanesefood.about.com/od/howtocook/ss/how_to_make_apple_rabbits.htm#step-heading

Gut tips!

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

To help improve your ‘gut flora’ we have come up with three tips and three foods to start you on your way…

1. Eat a fibre–rich, whole foods diet—it should be rich in beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, all of which can help feed the ‘good bacteria’.

2. Limit sugar, processed foods, animal fats, and animal protein—these can provide food for the ‘bad bacteria’.

3. Eat fermented foods daily—these foods contain ‘good bacteria’.

Foods to try…
1. Yogurt
Try eating fermented and cultured foods daily to increase your ‘good gut bacteria’. As well as containing lots of live cultures, which are thought to offer numerous health benefits, these types of food can also provide a good source of protein and calcium.
Granola pots with strawberry compote and yogurt

2. Asparagus
Asparagus is a good source of natural prebiotic fibre known as inulin. Asparagus is also know for being a good diuretic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Grill it, boil it, bake it… cook it in any way you want.

Aparagus and poached egg

3. Artichokes
Artichockes are also a good source of fibre, containing the prebiotic inulin. They are also a great source of magnesium, potassium and vitamins C.

Gut Week 2014

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Raising public health awareness of gut health!

Gut week is nearly upon us and this year we are excited to have teamed up with Sam Faiers (recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease).

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation to the lining of the digestive tract. While it can occur in any part of the digestive system, it is more commonly found in the small or large intestines. Symptoms can include: diarrhoea, abdominal pain, blood and mucus in the stools, fatigue and weight loss.

Gut Week provides a great opportunity to raise public health awareness of gastrointestinal health and the issues surrounding our guts! So get involved and order your Gut Week pack today!

To keep up-to-date with all the coverage from this year’s gut week visit: http://www.loveyourgut.com/gut-week/gut-week-2014/ While you are there, why not check out all the different recipes and even play one of the games!

Woman holding heart shaped balloon

 

 

Constipated? Well get moving!

Monday, July 7th, 2014

With the World Cup, Wimbledon and Tour de France being key topics in the UK over the last few weeks, exercise and the different ways in which to get fit have been highlighted more than ever!

However, what is the impact of exercise on our guts? At relatively low levels, repetitive exercise may have protective effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Some evidence suggests that exercise may even reduce the risk of constipation, diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease and gallstones, as well as offering protective benefits for colon cancer.

Our digestive tracts have a high muscle content, and like other muscles in the body, these are stimulated by exercise. Exercise along with a healthy fibrous diet may help with constipation as it will help to stimulate the natural contraction of the intestinal muscles, therefore ensuring the stool moves more efficiently through the digestive tract.

Various studies have shown those who are more active to have a better defecation pattern (less firm stools, more frequent defecation, higher stool weight) compared to inactive controls.

However, spare a thought for endurance athletes who can experience all number of gastrointestinal issues as a result of their sport, including; nausea, heartburn and diarrhoea.

exercise

Today is World Digestive Health Day!

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Every year on 29th May, World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) celebrates World Digestive Health Day (WDHD). Each year this public health awareness campaign focuses on a particular digestive disorder in order to increase general public health awareness of prevention and therapy.  This year the focus is ‘GUT MICROBES – Importance in Health and Disease’.

Extracts from Professor Francisco Guarner, MD, the Chair of World Digestive Health Day 2014 have been included below:

‘Our knowledge of the microbial communities that inhabit the human gut has grown exponentially over the last few years… Gut Microbes function like an organ within the gastrointestinal tract…

The human host provides a habitat and nutrition to a large and diverse ecosystem of microbial communities and they play key roles in digestion, metabolism and immune function and have a significant impact beyond the gastrointestinal tract. Changes in the diversity and function of those communities are associated with far reaching consequences on host health and have been linked with a number of disorders, including functional bowel disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases and other immune mediated diseases (coeliac disease, allergies), metabolic conditions (type 2 diabetes, NASH), and perhaps, behavioral disorders such as autism and depression. The emerging data on the microbiota and its interaction with the host may provide novel diagnostic and prognostic tests for clinician, and also lead to the development of new and effective therapeutic interventions (functional foods, probiotics, prebiotics, microbiota transplants) to relieve symptoms, as well as treat and prevent illness.

The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) seeks to raise awareness of this novel organ…’

For further details visit:

http://www.wgofoundation.org/wdhd-2014.html

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