Tag Archives: antioxidants

London butcher swaps meat slabs for watermelon slices

26 Aug
Master Butcher ditches meat for watermelon

Master Butcher ditches meat for watermelon

Breaking news from Notting Hill Carnival – Portobello Road Master Butcher ‘sees the light’ and swaps slabs of meat for slices of watermelon.

If only this was true, at least for non-carnival days. I fear the only light this butcher has seen is the glimmer of gold coins raining down from the dangly purses of girls desperate to pee. At £2.50 a tinkle, this butcher is carving a fortune from the two days of Europe’s biggest street festival.  Why not? But sadly this line up of watermelon is the only sign of raw fruit/vegetable available to the 1 million visitors. The streets are a smoky haze of carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the result of cooking meat (jerk chicken) at super high temperatures.  Apparently 5 tonnes of jerk chicken are sold each year…That’s a lot of carcinogens…

Watermelon on the other hand is a gift from Mother Universe. Watermelon may have a bad rap as having high GI (glycaemic index) of 72 but because it is constructed of fibre and water, when you look at its GL (glycaemic load) of 4– you need to eat 17 croissants/weetabix to reach the same total GI (McCance and Widdowson’s Composition of Foods).

In fact, watermelon may be the perfect accompaniment to HCA rich BBQ food as it is rammed with Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, capable of mopping up some of the carcinogenic free radicals. It’s high in beta carotene, a great source of Vitamin A, essential for eyesight and preventing glaucoma.  Watermelon is high in Vitamin Bs, particularly B1 (maintains electrolytes) and B6 (converts food to energy, good for red blood cells, immune system).  The gorgeous reddy colour of watermelon means it is full of tomato famous lycopene, yet another antioxidant proven to minimize cancer risks. There is also loads of potassium (water retention, gets rid of kidney stones) and magnesium (the metabolism mineral, sleep, tension, irritability, cramps, heart attacks)

Mmmm jerk chicken vs watermelon? Fingers crossed our master butcher is leading a new trend in carnival food…

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Walnuts crush other nuts for health benefits

3 Apr

Brain food that looks like a brain - walnuts are literally a top nut

Surely no-one missed the global groundbreaking news on Monday that US researchers declare raw walnuts to be the healthiest nut of them all and just seven of them a day will ward off heart disease, certain cancers and type-2 diabetes.

According to this BBC article, Dr Joe Vinson, from the University of Scranton, analysed the antioxidant levels of nine different types of nuts and discovered that: ‘a handful of walnuts contained twice as many antioxidants as a handful of any other commonly eaten nut. He found that these antioxidants were higher in quality and potency than in any other nut. Antioxidants are good because they stop the chain reactions that damage cells in the body when oxidation occurs. The antioxidants found in walnuts were also two to 15 times as powerful as vitamin E, which is known to protect the body against damaging natural chemicals involved in causing disease.’

In another study by Australian scientist T. M. Strathan (also backed up by the FDA) the advice is similar and even specific to vegetarians; ‘In vegetarian populations it appears that nuts may be exerting the strongest protective effect [for cardiovascular protection]. This was an unexpected finding since it was anticipated that the absence of meat eating would be the dominant factor. Although nuts contain approximately 80% fat the nut feeding trials have not shown any associated weight gain in those ingesting nuts suggesting the addition of nuts in the diet may have a satiating effect. It is concluded that the daily ingestion of a small quantity of nuts may be one of the most acceptable lifestyle interventions for the prevention of coronary heart disease.’

Walnuts are so rich in ALA that a daily amount of just half an ounce (15g) supplies 1.5g of the fatty acid will protect against heart disease – part of a 16-year study of more than 76,000 women reported to a meeting of the American Heart Association.

Walnuts are an excellent source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals such as Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Sodium, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin, Vitamin E, and even the little known Vitamin K.

Only one thing to watch for is that walnuts are a little bit acidic. So stick to the seven as advised…

Cinnamon has antioxidant superpowers

21 Jun
Who knew that cinnamon can lower your cholesterol and prevent diabetes

Who knew that cinnamon can lower your cholesterol and prevent diabetes

I absolutely love cinnamon, so when I found this article about its amazing superpowers I obviously just had to tell you about it.  But firstly – what exactly is it?

Cinnamon is the rolled, pressed and dried up inner bark from Cassia trees, which are native to Sri Lanka but cultivated in South America, Vietnam, India, Madagascar and Egypt. The superpower benefits of cinnamon might be news to me but cinnamon and cinnamon extract have been popular ‘medicines’ for thousands of years. 

Sought after and used by ancient civilisations, including the Chinese and the Egyptians, cinnamon was listed as one of the 350 ‘medicinal plants’ by Hippocrates.  According to the book, New Healing Herbs by Michael Castleman, cinnamon is commonly used as treatment for nausea and indigestion and also has antibiotic qualities.  But those benefits are old news.  This article below is written by Joyce Schneider, a health writer from New York, whom I follow on Twitter. 

Cinnamon has 5 times as many antioxidants as ½ cup of bluberries or a cup of pomegranate juice. 

Some of our best medicines are in our kitchen cabinet, not the bathroom cabinet. Recent, surprising studies show that some herbs and spices are antioxidant powerhouses — and that cinnamon is the second highest. (Cloves are the first, but are harder to work into our daily diet).

Here is a list of the top ten antioxidant spices. All these substances have something wonderful in common: their shared anti-inflammatory power is commonly described as helping arthritis sufferers and people with other types of pain. But the bigger picture of antioxidants’ anti-inflammatory power is their ability to reduce inflammation of the inner lining of the arteries and neutralize LDL (bad cholesterol)’s ability to deposit cholesterol, thus preventing atherosclerosis.  

You can read the rest of the article here.

Raw Valentine Smoothy

16 Feb

Make every day Valentine’s day (at least for your own body) with this raw smoothie packed with delicious and natural aphrodisiacs.

Love strawberries and strawberries will love you back

Love strawberries and strawberries will love you back

1 cup of Coconut water
1 Banana
1 cup Strawberries
1 cup of Raspberries
½ cup of grated 100% raw cacao

Blend, pour into a glass, sip and see what happens…

 

Why are these ingredients aphrodisiacs?

Bananas, the good mood food, are very high in potassium, which helps the production of sex hormones and boosts energy.  They’re also high in Vitamin B, essential for nervous system and red blood cell production.

Strawberries and raspberries are very high in vitamin C, which helps with the production of anti-stress hormones, sex hormones and neurotransmitters.    

Raw cacao is the ultimate Valentine’s booster.  It contains anandamide (a euphoric substance), arginine (a natural aphrodisiac), neurotransmitters, anti-ageing antioxidants and lots of magnesium, essential for helping the heart to pump blood efficiently, and lowering blood pressure.

Coconut water is a natural isotonic drink filled with electrolytes.  It helps circulation, keeps your energy levels up and makes sure your body is well and truly hydrated.