Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Month: June 2016

Orange Infused Quinoa Salad

Orange Infused Quinoa Salad

Sara Borg.

This orange infused quinoa salad has got to be one of my favourite salads.

Quinoa is great not only because of all it’s health benefits, but it’s also a versatile grain, which can be used in both hot and cold dishes, as well as sweet and savoury. It is naturally gluten free, packed with protein and one of the few plant foods around to contain all the essential amino acids.

This is a great recipe while the weather is beginning to warm up again, think summer BBQs and some exciting new salads to surprise your guests with this year… I’ve got plenty more in store for you!

Ingredients
1 cup mixed quinoa (rinsed thoroughly)
Juice from 1 orange
1 1/2 cups water

Bring to a boil and simmer until the quinoa absorbs all the liquid.

1 small cucumber, chopped finely
1 red & green pepper, chopped & partially boiled (if desired)
2 carrots, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped finely
2 tbsp currants/raisins
2 tbsp walnuts & 2 tbsp peanuts, chopped
Zest of 1 orange & lime

For the dressing: 
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Bunch chopped coriander leaves, chopped finely
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Once quinoa has cooked and cooled add all the ingredients and mix thoroughly in a large bowl.
2. Top with the dressing, making sure the quinoa is coated evenly.
Can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.


 

Sara Borg

About Sara

I was born into a family of healthy eaters and from that my passion for healthy eating and all things good for you grew. I am very conscious about giving my body all the goodness that it deserves, especially in today’s fast-paced lifestyle where pre-packed ready meals and sugar loaded snacks are so easily available.

Read more about me here…

Time to Ban Salty Junk Food

Time to Ban Salty Junk Food?

Is it time to ban salty junk food?

As much as 75% of salt consumed in the UK is from restaurants and processed foods, while only 15% is added at the table. Excess salt intake is linked with an increased risk of heart disease, including strokes. This is why a recent study published in BMJ Open is calling for salty foods to be banned, or at least more strongly regulated across Europe and in the UK.

The British Government initially made great progress with salt reduction campaigns, but the study’s author, Professor Francesco Cappuccio believes that progress has stalled and that there is still much more to be done. The scientists carried out a study in Italy involving almost 4,000 participants. Sodium was measured in urine to work out salt consumption. They found that those who had lower skilled jobs had 6.5% more salt in their urine than those in higher paid jobs.

It’s advised that you eat no more than 6g of salt per day – the quantity is much less for children. 5g of additional salt per day is linked to a 24% increased risk of stroke. Serious stuff. I say this so often, but only because it’s true; you are better off preparing food at home where you are in control of the amount of salt, sugar and fat that you put in your food.

It may be time to ban salty junk food…

References:

Call for government to curb the production and sale of cheap salty junk food

Geographic and socioeconomic variation of sodium and potassium intake in Italy: results from the MINISAL-GIRCSI programme


Fiona WilkinsonAbout Fiona

I am a Nutrition and Behavioural Psychologist with an MSc in Clinical Nutrition and a PhD in Mental Health. I specialise in long-term weight loss, disordered eating and binge eating. I run both online and in-person programmes to help you with any weight or eating issues you may have picked up over the years. We’re all different and have different needs so I work very much with you as an individual and together we’ll work out a programme to fit you.

Healthy Weight Loss

Read more about me here…

 

beetroot hummus

Beetroot Hummus

Sara Borg.

This beetroot hummus is full of bursting goodness — not to mention that gorgeous purple colour too!

Perfect healthy dip option for those planning a picnic this weekend. This will definitely wow your guests!
Delicious served with carrot or celery sticks.

Ingredients:
2 beetroots, chopped & boiled
2 tbsp Tahini
6 tbsp olive oil
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 tsp ground cumin
Juice of 2 lemons
4 garlic cloves
(You can half this recipe if less is needed)

Simply blend all the ingredients together in a high speed blender until well combined.


 

Sara Borg

About Sara

I was born into a family of healthy eaters and from that my passion for healthy eating and all things good for you grew. I am very conscious about giving my body all the goodness that it deserves, especially in today’s fast-paced lifestyle where pre-packed ready meals and sugar loaded snacks are so easily available.

Read more about me here…

good nutrition advice

High Fibre Diet Linked to Heart Healthy Fats

Fiona Wilkinson.

A healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables, such as the Mediterranean diet, is associated with an increase in healthy fats. Researchers found high fibre diet linked to heart healthy fats…

These fats can reduce the risk of a number of diseases. A study published in the journal Gut looked at 153 adults; 51 omnivores, 51 vegetarians and 51 vegans. They measured their levels of gut bacteria and a number of metabolites in urine. 88% of vegans, 65% of vegetarians and 30% of omnivores followed a diet that is close to the Mediterranean diet. Higher levels of short chain fatty acids which are really beneficial for health, were found in the vegans and vegetarians. Levels of short chain fatty acids were linked to the quantity of fruit, vegetables, legumes and fibre eaten on a regular basis. The vegetarians and vegans also had lower levels of a compound linked to heart disease (trimethylamine oxide or TMAO).

It is great to hear even more positive news about the Mediterranean diet. To make your diet more Mediterranean make sure you are eating plenty of wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and plant oils. Keep processed meat and red meat to a minimum.

Some Fruits and Vegetables Could be Better than Others

And if you are working on managing your weight, it’s worth knowing that certain fruit and vegetables could be better for weight loss than others. A study published in journal PLOS Medicine analysed data from over 133,000 men and women, most of who worked in healthcare. The research was a partnership between Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. The study took place over 24 years with the participants being monitored every 4 years and the scientists monitored the frequency of around 70 food items.

Eating an extra portion of fruit daily led to weight loss of 0.24kg (0.53lb) and eating an extra portion of vegetables daily led to 0.11kg (0.25lb).

According to this paper, vegetables associated with weight loss were cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Fruits associated with weight loss included berries, apples and pears which lead to greater weight loss compared with vegetables.

References:

High-level adherence to a Mediterranean diet beneficially impacts the gut microbiota and associated metabolome

Changes in Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Weight Change in United States Men and Women Followed for Up to 24 Years: Analysis from Three Prospective Cohort Studies


Fiona WilkinsonAbout Fiona

I am a Nutrition and Behavioural Psychologist with an MSc in Clinical Nutrition and a PhD in Mental Health. I specialise in long-term weight loss, disordered eating and binge eating. I run both online and in-person programmes to help you with any weight or eating issues you may have picked up over the years. We’re all different and have different needs so I work very much with you as an individual and together we’ll work out a programme to fit you.

Healthy Weight Loss

Read more about me here…

Granola cups

Breakfast Granola Cups

Sara Borg.

Yummy and also equally pretty breakfast in the morning.

Granola cups are super easy to make and can be put together overnight to dash out to work in the morning.

This one is made up of layers of fresh strawberries, sliced banana, greek yoghurt, walnuts, seeds, a sprinkle of cinammon and a drizzle of organic honey!

Mix together in your favourite breakfast bowl and enjoy…


 

Sara Borg

About Sara

I was born into a family of healthy eaters and from that my passion for healthy eating and all things good for you grew. I am very conscious about giving my body all the goodness that it deserves, especially in today’s fast-paced lifestyle where pre-packed ready meals and sugar loaded snacks are so easily available.

Read more about me here…

Superfood Seed Buns

Superfood Seed Bun

This week’s star recipe is from Naturally Nourished by Nikki. It is a GF (gluten free) superfood seed bun bread which was originally inspired by Deliciously Ella! It’s a great bread alternative, high in fibre, nutrient dense and holds together really well.

Ingredients:
1 cup almonds
1 cup buckwheat/brown rice flour
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp psyllium husk (essential)
2 tbsp herbs
600ml water
Salt and pepper

To make the bread, start by pre-heating the oven to 180 degrees. In a food processor, add the almonds and pumpkin seeds and blitz until ground. Once done, add to a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients, mix well and let it sit.

In the meantime, line a tray with baking paper. Once the ‘dough’ is completely absorbed by all of the water, mould into burger buns and add to the baking tray. Pop into the oven and bake for about 30 mins or until lightly brown. (You might need to flip them so that they cook evenly on each side).

Once this is complete, let cool and enjoy.

PS: They taste even better a bit toasted! Check out Naturally Nourished by Nikki for some other great food ideas.

Nutritional Needs for Bone Health Change as you Age

Nutritional Needs for Bone Health Change as you Age

Fiona Wilkinson.

Every life stage comes with different nutritional needs to support bone health — from babies in the womb to the elderly, there are specific nutritional requirements that need to be met — nutritional needs for bone health change as you age.

A recent scientific review has been published in the journal Osteoporosis International as part of a collaboration between leading bone and nutrition experts. The study authors voice concerns over widespread vitamin D deficiency, particularly in infants and children but also throughout the population as a whole.

The study authors note that milk consumption has decreased significantly and believe that this is behind the widespread calcium deficiencies. However, large amounts of dairy particularly in the form of cheese are not particularly good for bone health. Remember that milk is not the only source of calcium, you can get calcium from the following: white beans, tinned salmon with bones, dried figs, blackstrap molasses, almonds, oranges, tahini, seaweed and tofu.

The Importance of the Right Form of Calcium

The food that you eat and the supplements you take are only going to be beneficial if you can absorb their nutrients efficiently. Good levels of stomach acid are needed in order to absorb calcium, and one of the side effects mentioned under calcium carbonate supplements in drug reference books is gastro-intestinal disturbances. This is because they are notoriously difficult to absorb. Calcium, when bound to citric acid, forms bioavailable citrates which are easily assimilated and require little acidification prior to absorption. So calcium citrate supplements are a better choice than calcium carbonate and especially if you have low stomach acid.

Nutritional needs for skeletal health change as you age, says new scientific review


Fiona WilkinsonAbout Fiona

I am a Nutrition and Behavioural Psychologist with an MSc in Clinical Nutrition and a PhD in Mental Health. I specialise in long-term weight loss, disordered eating and binge eating. I run both online and in-person programmes to help you with any weight or eating issues you may have picked up over the years. We’re all different and have different needs so I work very much with you as an individual and together we’ll work out a programme to fit you.

Healthy Weight Loss

Read more about me here…

Should I Take a Vitamin Supplement?

Fiona Wilkinson.

I’m often asked about supplements and whether it’s a good idea to take them. One of the main questions I get is: “But if I’m eating a healthy diet should I take a vitamin supplement?” Well, like most things, the answer is, it depends…

Personally, I take a good-quality multi-vitamin and mineral every day along with extra vitamin C, Omega-3, a turmeric supplement, and a women’s glandular supplement. Now you could argue that if you eat well you don’t need these. And up to a point that’s true. However, unfortunately most of us don’t eat ‘perfectly’. We’re human and trying to get all our daily needs from food can be quite a challenge. Then there’s all those other things that are nutrient ‘depleters’ such as alcohol (yes, I’m afraid wine counts here too!), pollution, stress, getting older and so on…

Should I take a Vitamin Supplement?

One of the things we do know nowadays is that vitamins and minerals play a huge part in our health, and our ability to age well, and nutrient deficiencies can cause a wide range of diseases. So, my take is: take your daily multi-vitamin and any extras you may need due to your own individual requirements — because you can.

“But isn’t it just expensive wee?”

Oh, I do love this question…! I’m always tempted to say wouldn’t you rather have expensive wee than cheap wee…?! But on a more serious note: your body has a great mechanism for using the nutrients it needs and discarding the rest. Vitamins C and the B vitamins are water soluble. So, yes, to a certain extent you will lose some of these, but the same happens with food too. You know how your wee smells after asparagus? Right… Well, that doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time eating asparagus. You’ll still get the nutrients you need from that too. The price of asparagus compared to even the most expensive supplement? Now that really is expensive wee!

Which brings me on to quality. No, not all multivitamins are created equal. Without blinding you with science I’ll just give you a couple of simple examples starting with calcium. Many brands use calcium carbonate because it is cheap. The only problem with this is you body can’t absorb it. So, taking calcium carbonate in a supplement is bordering on useless. The most absorbable form of calcium is calcium citrate which your body can use. Vitamin E is another example where you need to take it in its natural form to reap the benefits. And finally, most over-the-counter supplements come in large tablet form. Now, to get all those ingredients in one pill means lots of binders and fillers. And, yes, you’ve guessed it — that inhibits absorption too. So, it really is worth buying a decent quality ‘doctors’ supplement.

If you’re not sure what to buy, or exactly what you need to take, you can fill out a mini vitamin and mineral consultation form and I’ll send you a personalised recommendation.

 

 

Scrambled Eggs with Chèvre and Mushrooms

Scrambled Eggs with Chèvre and Mushrooms

Sara Borg.

Simple quick lunch so that I can get back into my books…

Scrambled eggs with chèvre and mushrooms with a fresh sliced tomato on the side (just because I love tomatoes).

Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin D and selenium, vital for a healthy bladder and also promote immunity function in the body.


 

Sara Borg

About Sara

I was born into a family of healthy eaters and from that my passion for healthy eating and all things good for you grew. I am very conscious about giving my body all the goodness that it deserves, especially in today’s fast-paced lifestyle where pre-packed ready meals and sugar loaded snacks are so easily available.

Read more about me here…

This Simple solution beats heart disease

This Simple Solution Beats Heart Disease

Fiona Wilkinson.

You can make a difference to your cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease by changing your lifestyle. This simple solution beats heart disease…

A large study published in the European Heart Journal analysed data from almost 9,000 men and women, aged 25–74, from Northern Sweden to understand the effects of making lifestyle changes on heart disease. Over a 10-year period (1994 to 2014) blood cholesterol dropped from 6.2 to 5.5 mmol/L.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs only contributed to a third of this reduction so it is believed that the rest can be attributed to lifestyle changes such as diet; lower fat intake and increased fibre from fruit, vegetables and grains. An encouraging finding from this study is that those who showed the most improvement initially were the most at risk (e.g. with diabetes and previous history of heart disease).

Limit fat from animal sources apart from oily fish, include heart-healthy plant oils such as olive oil, increase your fibre intake by ensuring that you have a minimum of 5-a-day every day and enjoy wholegrains such as brown rice, oats and quinoa in your diet.

References:

European Heart Journal: Greater decreases in cholesterol levels among individuals with high cardiovascular risk than among the general population: the northern Sweden MONICA study 1994 to 2014


Fiona WilkinsonAbout Fiona

I am a Nutrition and Behavioural Psychologist with an MSc in Clinical Nutrition and a PhD in Mental Health. I specialise in long-term weight loss, disordered eating and binge eating. I run both online and in-person programmes to help you with any weight or eating issues you may have picked up over the years. We’re all different and have different needs so I work very much with you as an individual and together we’ll work out a programme to fit you.

Healthy Weight Loss

Read more about me here…

 

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