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Tag Archives: Health

fibre vegFibre is very, very important for the health of the gut, can help prevent constipation, reduce cholesterol, prevent bowel cancer, aid with weight loss and weight maintenance and slow down the transit of food through the gut so prolonging the time available for the gut to absorb nutrients from the passing food into the blood. It’s amazing stuff.

Fibre grains But we hear so much about the different types that it can get confusing….soluble, insoluble, digested, undigested….aaargh! What do we really need to know?

In essence, 18-24g per day is what we need. This can be obtained quite happily through a varied, balanced diet in line with the Eatwell Plate (Food Pyramid for our U.S. based friends!). Fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils, pulses, wholemeal bread, seeds and grains are all great sources of fibre and the mixture you need of soluble and insoluble fibre should be gotten through including a range of these foods in your regular diet.

SOLUBLE FIBRE

 - the glue of poo!

– the glue of poo!

Soluble fibre can be partially digested by your body. It may help reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood. If you have constipation, gradually increasing sources of soluble fibre – such as fruit and vegetables, oats and golden linseeds – can help soften your stools and make them easier to pass. This is the glue of your poo, if you like! Water is needed to help with this too.

Foods that contain soluble fibre include:

* oats, barley and rye
* fruit, such as bananas and apples
* root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes
* golden linseeds

INSOLUBLE FIBRE

- the fabric of poo!

– the fabric of poo!

Insoluble fibre cannot be digested. It passes through your gut without being broken down and helps other foods move through your digestive system more easily. It is the fabric of your poo!
Insoluble fibre keeps your bowels healthy, helps prevent digestive problems and slows down food transit. If you have diarrhoea, you should limit the amount of insoluble fibre in your diet.

Good sources of insoluble fibre include:

* wholemeal bread
* bran
* cereals
* nuts and seeds (except golden linseeds)

Eating foods high in fibre will help you feel fuller for longer. This may help if you are trying to lose weight or manage your weight after having lost it.

If you need to increase your fibre intake, it’s important that you do so gradually. A sudden increase may make you produce more wind (flatulence), leave you feeling bloated and cause stomach cramps. Too much fibre can prevent your body from absorping nutrients effectively causing deficiency problems so don’t over-do it.
fibre porridge
It’s also important to make sure you drink plenty of fluid. You should drink approximately 1.5-2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid a day, or more while exercising or when it’s hot.

Hope this helps!

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1141.aspx?CategoryID=51&SubCategoryID=167


Rich in antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals

Rich in antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals

Some U.S. research has found that roasting cashews appears to increase the antioxidant activity in these delicious nuts – as well as making them more tasty, in my opinion!

However, roasting them was also found to decrease the amount of flavenols in the nuts, chemical substances that are helpful in preventing heart disease (such as those found in red wine).

Just goes to show that research is a mixed bag and that most food preparation methods will have good and bad effects on the food we eat!

Cashew nuts contain an array of healthy vitamins and mineral; vitamin K (good for bone health and immunity) as well as the minerals magnesium (good for healthy blood supply to the nerves and brain), copper (good for brain function and involved in the break down of fats in the blood) and zinc (helps fight infection by preventing bacterial colonisation).

Cashew nuts also have a good array of healthy fatty acids to keep cholesterol levels normal and blood vessels healthy.  We do need to be aware that, although these are healthy, unsaturated fats, they still mean that cashews are high in energy (calories) so portion control is advisable.

Carry on with a balanced, varied diet high in vegetables and fruit, containing fibre (18-24g/day), sources of low fat dairy, starchy carbohydrate (55%), protein (15%) and some healthy fats (25% max) and you can’t go far wrong.

Research Article: Effect of Roasting on Phenolic Content and Antioxidant Activities of Whole Cashew Nuts, Kernels, and Testa : Neel Chandrasekara and Fereidoon Shahidi : 2011


This image shows a few dried mushrooms.

Melange of dried mushrooms

Mushrooms contain an astounding array of vitamins and minerals including B Vits B6, Niacin, Thiamin, Riboflavin and Panthothenic Acid as well as Folate, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc, Potassium, Copper, Magnesium and Selenium.
They are also really high in water and fibre, making them a great ‘filler’ to pad out your meals, make you feel fuller for longer and so good for weight-loss.