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Tag: antioxidant

What is Collagen and Why Do We Need it?

AntioxidantsIf you are interested in anti-ageing products, you will probably know that the promise of many of them is to “increase collagen production”. 

But what is collagen, and why do we need it? Put simply, collagen is a form of connective tissue, the glue, if you like, that holds our bodies together.  As we age, we lose collagen, and you can see the results externally as skin starts to sag and create wrinkles.  Internally, you may feel it as aches and pains as collagen’s “cushioning” of muscles and bones deteriorates.

A multi-billion pound industry has grown up around discovering ways to restore this “elixir of youth”, from creams, to drinks, to collagen pills.

But there are more natural and easy ways to prevent the loss of collagen, including avoiding sun damage to the skin, staying hydrated by drinking lots of  water, and ensuring your diet is packed full of vitamin C rich foods.

The antioxidants in fresh fruit and vegetables help to combat the free radicals in the body that actively attack collagen cells, resulting in diminished collagen production.

Green Tea May Prevent Glaucoma

 

Green tea may prevent glaucoma

Green tea may prevent glaucoma

Studies reported in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry have found more evidence that green tea may help fight eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Researchers found catechin in green tea may help fight eye diseases are one of many antioxidants that protect the eyes from some diseases.

They found the antioxidants passed from the stomach through the  intestinal tract and into eye tissue. The retina absorbed the highest levels of gallocatechin while the aqueous humor absorbed epigallocatechin.

Green tea’s health benefits have been known in the East for centuries. Packed with antioxidants, green tea contains more than 4,000 of these compounds which help fight free radicals which can lead to heart disease and cancer. Green tea supplements can also be effective.

Green Tea and Weight Loss

Adding green tea to your diet may also benefit those wanting to lose weight. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that men who added green tea to their diet burned more calories than men given a similar drink without green tea. The effects of caffeine were also taken into consideration. One of the reasons for this is that green tea raises and speeds up oxidation which in turn helps with weight loss. It also contains high amounts of polyphenols which activate an enzyme which helps get rid of excess fat in the body.

Antioxidants in Green Tea

Green tea contains a very powerful group of antioxidant polyphenols called catechins. Many of green tea’s health benefits come from these. One particular catechin is epigallocatechin gallate which is thought to contribute to the cancer fighting effects of green tea. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published results of a study that showed drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer by nearly 60 percent. Another report from Harvard Medical School found that catechin in green tea inhibited the growth of cancer cells. It is now widely accepted that the antioxidants in green tea may help prevent cancer of the bladder, colon, pancreas, esophagus, rectum and stomach.

Green Tea and a Healthy Heart

Both green and black teas have cholesterol-lowering properties which keep the heart healthy. Studies reported in Circulation Journal on ‘effects of green tea intake on the development of coronary artery disease’ found the more green tea patients consumed, the less likely they were to suffer from coronary artery disease.

Green Tea Supplements

Taking green tea in supplement form may be effective as well. Many weight loss supplements contain extract of green tea. However, as a weight loss aid it may be a better idea to actually drink the tea rather than take it in supplement form. Studies have shown those drinking green tea are able to control their appetites better and it also helps keep the body well hydrated. Experts suggest four cups of green tea a day will give maximum benefit. This equates to roughly three capsules of green tea extract. A standard 500mg capsule should contain 275mg EGCG which is the term used for the catechins that are isolated, dried and put into capsules or tablets or made into a liquid.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Thank you for reading!

Fiona

 

 

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Memory Boosting Foods

Memory boosting foods

Memory boosting foods

MOST of us can be a little forgetful sometimes, but what if you really seem to be forgetting things more than usual?

Well, there are some foods that help boost memory and are also rich in antioxidants which, let’s face it, we could all do with these days. Now where was I? Oh yes, memory boosting foods

Well, according to several recent studies reported in Science Daily, eating blueberries and strawberries could help prevent memory loss in old age. Berries are rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from free-radical damage. But new research has found they can have a direct effect on how neurons in the brain send signals. But berries aren’t the only memory boosting foods.

Avocados

These delicious fruits (yes, they are classed as a fruit) are a great source of ‘healthy’ fat and a good blood circulation booster. This is important when it comes to brain function, as this enhances blood flow to the brain, helping with healthy brain function.

Oily fish

The essential omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as sardines, herring, trout and mackerel, as well as walnut oil and flaxseeds, or linseeds, are high in Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid which is vital to maintaining a healthy nervous system.  Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Fish also contains iodine, which is known to improve mental clarity.

Whole grains

Whole grains improve circulation and help regulate glucose levels in the blood. The more stable your glucose levels, the easier it is to concentrate, which is one of the reasons why it’s important to eat breakfast in the morning. Apart from revving up your metabolism it keeps your sugar levels balanced and protects against diabetes and heart disease.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great source of the antioxidant vitamin, E, a lack of which has been linked with cognitive decline as you age. A good intake of vitamin E will help prevent memory loss. Nuts are a great source along with leafy green vegetables, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.

Blueberries

Blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidants, which are thought to protect brain neurons from damage, build communication receptors between each brain cell, and flush out waste. They also help protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Blackberries are also a great brain booster, as they contain good levels of vitamin C that has long been known to help increase mental agility.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells that occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Thank you for reading!

Fiona

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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Health benefits of chia seeds

I WAS wandering around my local supermarket recently and came across some Chia seeds. I looked at the packet and even though my Spanish is not exactly what you would call fluent yet, I did manage to work out that these little seeds are real nutritional hotties.

I did my homework and found that chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica and is found in southern Mexico where I live. They were an important part of the Aztec and Mayan diet in pre-Columbian times and were given to Aztec warriors in their basic rations. The legend goes that one tablespoon was believed to keep an individual going for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used to use them medicinally to help saliva flow,  joint pain and sore skin.

This could be  because Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They contain even more than flaxseed. The seeds are so rich in antioxidants  you can store them for long periods of time and they don’t go off. Chia seeds also provide fibre, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper,  iron, molybdenum, niacin and zinc.

Chia crops were banned after the Spanish conquest because of their link to the Aztec religion – they were offered in rituals. However, these nutrient rich little seeds are enjoying a comeback. Check out your local health food store or try to order them on the internet.

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