26 Jun

Say no to superfoods, eat a kiwi instead!

Kiwi a day

I am not about advocating superfoods. There are many foods out there you can access easily everyday that are healthy; broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, carrots, apples, onion and garlic…. the list goes on. I have recently been coming across quite a lot of nutritional research about the kiwi, many of it is backed up by Zespri, the people that supply kiwi’s to many of the shops, bare that in mind. However some of the evidence shows that it contains many health supporting nutrients, a kiwi a day may keep the doctor away.

The evidence

One study showed that kiwi’s may aid protein digestion. It contains natural enzyme called actinidin, only present in  the kiwi.  Low protein digestion may lead to: nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, poor muscle tone, digestive problems, mood changes as well as poor condition of hair and nails.

As a prebiotic, the food that feeds good bacteria in the gut it has also been found to promote a healthy gut flora.

It is rich in vitamin C and another study found it may help reduce the symptoms of colds and flu.

Other benefits

It is an excellent  source of fibre. Fibre helps with digestion and heart health as it may contribute to lowering cholesterol.

It helps with restoring electrolyte balance as it is high in potassium – great for sports people.

Rich in antioxidants. It contains:

Lutein which is useful for eye health.

Zinc – needed for men as it helps produce testosterone, it also needed for the making of neurotransmitter serotonin and keeps hair and nails healthy.

Vitamin E a powerful antioxidant helping to reduce damage inside the body.

Rich in magnesium – contains 30mg per kiwi and good source of folate.

Add to breakfasts, put on top of oatcakes with nut butter, eat as a pre-dinner dessert to get the digestive enzyme benefits or add to a smoothie.




19 Jun

Saturated Fat – Coconut Oil, benefits, kitchen and bathroom cupboard must have

Coconut oil

Coconut oil

What is so great about coconut oil? 

Coconut oil is a saturated fat . Excellent for cooking because it does not produce harmful substances when heated. It is a healthier saturated fat than meat and dairy sources.  It is not stored in the body as much as other types of fat and is converted into energy by the liver straight away. It contains lauric and caprylic acid, these fatty acids have anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Furthermore as a fat it helps the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K . It may help support energy levels by slowing down the release of glucose into the bloodstream when eating a carbohydrate.

Like any fat it is to be eaten sparingly. It can be a very useful addition the kitchen and bathroom cupboard. I cook with coconut butter and olive oil and use nut and seed oils cold on salads. My top uses with coconut oil:

  1. Makes great roast potatoes – melt in a pan then pour over parboiled potatoes
  2. Brilliant for pouring over other root veg and roasting in the oven
  3. Use for cooking scrambled eggs spiced with turmeric and mustard seeds
  4. Spread on toast, oatcakes or bread, I spread on oatcakes and add some cacao nibs and raisins for a healthy, tasty snack
  5. Add to porridge to give it a rich creamy texture
  6. Excellent in curries, stir-fry’s and chilli’s
  7. Use in baking as a replacement to butter and can be used in raw baking
  8. Add to smoothies
  9. Gargle with it when you have a sore throat – but spit out into the bin, as it will clog the sink!
  10. Great as a hair treatment
  11. Excellent moisturiser on skin