Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Month: December 2013

The Health Benefits of Avocado

benefits of avocadoAVOCADOS are rich in folate, vitamin B6 and betacarotene. They also contain monounsaturated fat, which is a good type of fat, so you don’t need to worry about eating them. The health benefits of avocado are endless…

Calorie-wise they average around 300 calories, or 150 for half, so with a salad and slice of whole bread. you have a nice healthy lunch that should keep you going throughout the afternoon.

Rich in potassium, vitamins B and E as well as high in fibre, avocados may help protect against lung cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. They also contain good amounts of fibre, around 11g to 17g per fruit.

Although officially classed as a fruit, avocados are generally treated as a salad vegetable. They are high in fat, however most of this is the heart-friendly monounsaturated variety, or more specifically, oleic acid, an omega-9 fat also found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fat has also been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. Those who have difficulty in digesting fats are usually fine with avocados.

An excellent source of vitamin E, avocados are also high in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance which helps lower blood cholesterol levels and protect the prostrate. Vitamin E also helps prevent the oxidation of LDL, or bad cholesterol, and is important for healthy skin. This vitamin has also been shown to help boost fertility in men by protecting the sperm cell membranes from damage by free radicals and increasing sperm motility. For this reason avocados have been traditionally used for erectile dysfunction. Other uses include: constipation, nervousness and insomnia.

The Health Benefits of Avocado include Vitamin B6

the health benefits of avocadoAvocados also contain lutein, a carotenoid with natural antioxidant properties that help keep eyes healthy and also contribute to a healthy skin. One small avocado contains half the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6 which is essential to the central nervous system function. Low levels of B6 have been linked to depression and chronic fatigue. Anyone taking the contraceptive pill, or antibiotics, would be wise to add avocado to their diet as both these drugs increase the body’s need for vitamin B6.

Avocados are High in Fibre

They are also a good source of fibre – around 11 to 17g per fruit. Rich in potassium with two to three times that of bananas, avocados also contain good amounts of folate, vitamin A as well as beta carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.

Eating Avocados Reduces Lung Cancer Risk

Foods high in beta-cryptoxanthin protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and provide a good source of vitamin A. This carotenoid may also reduce the risk of lung cancer according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. The 2004 study found beta-cryptoxanthin reduced lung cancer risk by more than 30 percent in those with diets providing the highest amounts. Studies have also shown beta-cryptoxanthin providing a 41 percent reduction in the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

How to Reap the Health Benefits of Avocado

Avocado is excellent in salads, as a garnish, sandwich-filler or, of course, as guacamole. The small knobbly Haas varieties seem to have a nicer flavour than their smooth Fuerte cousins.

Portrait2If you would like to know more about how you can eat more healthily and feel so much better, book an online consultation with me today… 

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Cinnamon hope for type II diabetes

cinnamon and type 2 diabetesA recent review published online in The Annals of Family Medicine has revealed that patients with Type II diabetes showed improved blood glucose and cholesterol levels when they took cinnamon in a pill form.

The researchers examined data from 10 randomised, controlled trials involving 543 patients with type 2 diabetes, comparing patients who took cinnamon supplements with those who didn’t.

Results showed that Type II diabetes patients who took cinnamon supplements had lower blood sugar fasting levels compared to patients who did not take them.  Their levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels dropped, and HDL (good) cholesterol levels rose.

The participants in all 10 trials took the cinnamon supplements in addition to their diabetes medicine — a combination that lowered their fasting blood sugar levels by approximately 25 milligrams/deciliter.

From aching muscles to digestive disorders

Cinnamon also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful for pain and stiffness in muscles, joints and for menstrual problems. In Oriental medicine it is used as a digestive tonic and helps soothe the abdominal region, relieving gas, nausea and diarrhea. Animal studies have shown it is a carminative, or gas reliever. Also, catechins, compounds found in cinnamon, help relieve nausea.

Cinnamon is also regarded as an aphrodisiac and anti-fungal agent and calms the nerves. Taken as a tea, it can help people suffering rheumatism from exposure to cold weather.

A word of caution…

Cinnamon also has an anti-blood-clotting effect, so care should be taken if it is being used in combination with other blood-thinning medications. Large quantities should also be avoided during pregnancy as it may have adverse effects on the uterus.

References: Cinnamon Use in Type 2 Diabetes: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Are you buying fake supplements?

Always choose a well-known quality brand

Always choose a well-known quality brand such as Biotics Research

Are you unwittingly putting your health at risk by buying fake health supplements? Well, according to an article in Natural News, the online nutrition whistleblowing website, you may be…

It seems that Amazon, specifically Amazon.com, is selling counterfeit supplements to their unsuspecting customers. I do want to point out here that Amazon are not doing this intentionally, however they do have problems with ‘policing’ their third-party sellers.

The problem with ‘fake’ supplements is they often contain fake or low-grade ingredients which are generally cheaper, along with nasty chemical fillers that are are often sold at a discounted price. The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is generally true, but particularly true for vitamins, minerals and supplements.

So, how can you avoid being conned and potentially damaging your health? Always buy a reputable brand and buy through them or an approved healthcare practitioner. If you live in the UK or Europe, email me for details of my recommended suppliers you can order through.

You can read the Natural News article here.

Osteoarthritis? Eat your greens!

Just 100g of broccoli a day can help with osteoarthritis

Just 100g of broccoli a day can help with osteoarthritis

New research has found that osteoarthritis can be slowed – or even prevented, by simply eating a small amount of broccoli every day. 

There’s a compound in broccoli called sulforaphane and esearchers from the University of East Anglia suggest that consuming just 100g of this dark green vegetable daily can slow the destruction of cartilage in the joints.

According to Arthritis Research UK, an incredible 8.75 million people in the UK have sought treatment for osteoarthritis, including one third of people aged 45 and older. Unfortunately, there is no medical treatment for this disease, which occurs when the joints become damaged, stop moving freely and become painful.  Most people rely on painkillers and anti-inflammatories, which can also have adverse effects on the body.

 After such a promising start, new research is being undertaken – so watch this space!

Refs: Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2013; doi: 10.1002/art38133

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