superfoods

#Superfoods: Nuts For Nuts

When it comes to snacking in-between meals, you really can’t go past #bustinganut.

Nuts are an incredible source of vitamins and minerals and are super tasty to boot. Check out the snapshot of health benefits below:

  • Cashews: non haem (plant based) iron and a low GI rating
  • Almonds: protein, calcium and vitamin E
  • Pistachios: protein, potassium, plant sterols and the antioxidant resveratrol
  • Chestnuts: low GI, fibre and vitamin C (although much vitamin C is lost during cooking)
  • Hazelnuts: fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin E
  • Macadamias: highest in monounsaturated fats, thiamin and manganese
  • Pecans: fibre and antioxidants
  • Walnuts: alpha linoleic acid: plant omega 3 and antioxidant
  • Pine nuts: vitamin E and the arginine amino acid
  • Brazil nuts: fibre and selenium: just two brazil nuts a day provides 100% RDI for selenium for an adult

If you’re not nuts about nuts already (not going to ease up on the Dad jokes anytime soon), here are 3 tips to get you started!

Tip #1 - Always Carry A Bag Of Nuts In Your Bag. Although I recommend pre-preparing your meals according to a weekly meal plan, sometimes life gets in the way and the urge to Pad Thai is strong. The next day, when you have that cheeky 3pm hunger craving, there are no pre-prepared leftovers to snack on. Enter the cheeky handbag stash of nuts. This way, you’ll always have something delicious and nutritious on hand.

 

Tip #2 - Eating one or two nuts before a meal decreases the GI of your food. This means you’ll stay fuller for longer, without peaks and troughs in energy. A great tip to keep in mind if you’re conscious about food portion sizes, or maintaining your energy levels at the office.

 

Tip #3 - Looking for something to #spreadonyourbread? There’s nothing better than walking into a health food store and getting some freshly ground nut butter.  This ain’t the same pasty, sticky stuff you grew up eating at recess in between slices of sugary white bread. It’s infinitely more tasty, with a richer, buttery flavour that refined nut butter can’t get close to. Look for peanut, almond or cashew nut butter and go #bustanut all over your bread.

#Superfoods: Super Fats & Oils

Healthy fats & oils? Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true: your body needs fats and oils for a number of important reasons. 

Unsaturated fatty acids are integral to overall health and wellbeing because they provide energy and nutrients for our organs and cells, maintain healthy skin and other tissues, help our nervous system and brains to function and store much-needed energy we use on a daily basis to #keepontruckin’.

The trick is to substitute naughty fats & oils with healthier alternatives. The best part is these alternatives also taste fantastic and are mega easy to cook with!

Read on to learn about these key superfoods and how they can become your new pantry besties.

AVOCADO

In 2016, avocado was wrongly blamed for the great generation Y real estate problem; but what the Sydney Morning Herald didn’t report is the avocado’s high levels of oleic acid, an essential fatty acid that reduces inflammation and benefits the cardiovascular system.

Think bananas are your numero uno source of potassium? Think again. Avocados contains more potassium than bananas. Moreso, they are chockablock full of fibre.

Avocados are a rich source of vitamin C, an important antioxidant contributing to cell protection from free radical damage. Vitamin C helps your skin build collagen, which keeps your skin strong and elastic. Notably, if you are vegetarian then vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron from plant foods. 
  
So don’t just wait for Taco Tuesday – chuck avocado into your salads, quinoa dishes and even in smoothies to get the full hog of avocado’s health benefits

COCONUT OIL

Next time you’re at the frying pan and reach for olive oil, think again. There’s a new oil in town that proves #oilsaintoils - with good reason.

When oil is heated, it reaches its smoking point, which is the highest temperature it can reach before the natural impurities in the oil begin to burn.

The lower the smoking point, the lower the temperature can be heated before oil starts to smoke as a result of burning impurities.

Unrefined coconut oil has a smoking point of 177 degrees celcius.  That’s the lowest of all the oil gang – including olive, sunflower and canola oil. 

In the US, studies have shown that even after 8 hours of continuous deep-frying at 180 degrees celcius, the quality of coconut oil does not deteriorate – especially compared with olive oil, which can’t handle the heat.

Besides aiding digestion and inflammation, coconut oil also tastes fantastic, adding a delicious tropical vibe to all your tried-and-tested recipes. Especially thai curries and indian dahl - yum!

Give this superfood a go. You’ll go, erm, nuts for it! 
 

#Superfoods: Amaranth Is The Ultimate Grain Replacement

Carbs are not a dirty word, I repeat: carbs are NOT a dirty word!

Carbohydrates are your body's preferred energy source, helping to process nutrients and maintain good gut health.

The good news is carbohydrate-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole-grains are a fantastic source of important nutrients like antioxidants.

The bad news is a lot of the carbs in the western diet are chockers full of sugar and refined grains.

My key takeaway message on carbs is this. You can replace many of the carbs you’re currently eating every day with healthier, more nutritious options that are far better for you!

We all know the health benefits of quinoa as a great go-to carb replacement (if not, read my previous article and discover why). Quinoa is also a dead simple grain to whip up during the busy working week.

But there’s a new grain in town taking quinoa head-on in the fight for superfood supremacy. It’s not exactly new – humans have been harvesting it since the Aztecs.

Meet Amaranth, your new grain replacement and all-round superfood. Here’s the skinny on all the good stuff inside!

Amaranth Is Gluten Free. It sure looks like a grain, but Amaranth is classified as a ‘pseudo-cereal’. Easy to cook on the stovetop, amaranth is a fabulous option to ‘bulk up’ soups and stews.

The oils and phytosterols in amaranth help lower cholesterol levels. Phytosterols are literally steroids from plants and can reduce heart disease and prevent alzheimers in the long term.

The anti-inflammatory properties of peptides and oils found amaranth can ease pain and reduce inflammation. This is especially important for chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

The same peptides in amaranth that protect against inflammation may also help prevent cancer. The antioxidants may even help protect cells from other damage that can lead to cancer.

Cooking amaranth is comparable to cooking pasta or rice. Boil plenty of water (six cups of water per one cup of amaranth), measure the grain into it, cook and stir for 15 to 20 minutes, drain, rinse, and eat. Here are some delish recipes to get your started replacing those tired old starchy grains with something a bit sexier and South American!

Try these delicious and nutritious amaranth-based recipes and #getyourgrainon!

Mexican Ranchero Amaranth Stew

Popped Amaranth Protein Balls

Amaranth 'Risotto' with Mushroom

 

 

5 Reasons To Eat Quinoa

HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM THE WORLD'S MOST STYLIST SUPERFOOD.

TIP #1: GLUTEN FREE GOODNESS

If you follow a gluten free diet, quinoa (pronounced ‘KEEN-wah’) is your go-to substitute grain. Quinoa is naturally gluten free and easily fills that pasta-shaped hole in your diet. Better still, thanks to its delicious flavour and texture, quinoa actually adds to your recipes – tip #5 is all about quinoa recipe ideas, so read on!

TIP #2: FULL OF VITAMINS & NUTRIENTS

Quinoa is full of amazing vitamins and nutrients, including protein, fibre, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, vitamins B1, B2, B6, calcium and Vitamin E. It ain’t a superfood for nothin’.  

TIP #3: FLAVA-FLAV

Quinoa contains two important flavonoids – Quercetin and Kaemperol. What’s a flavanoid? Plant antioxidants that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects. Best be getting your flavas on.

TIP #4: LOW GI

Quinoa has a low GI, so you won't need a nap straight after your meal. Studies have also found that Quinoa increases metabolism and significantly reduces appetite.

TIP #5: SIR Mix-A-Lot

Last – but certainly not least – Quinoa is a super versatile substitute for heavy carbs, including pasta and rice. Here are some mega easy ideas to incorporate Quinoa into your daily diet that’s a breeze to make in a jiffy:

- Breakfast with scrambled eggs 

- Mix it in a salad for lunch 

- Steamed fish or veggies on top for big lunch or filling dinner 

- Instead of rice in a burrito 

- A tasty snack with avocado, spinach & a touch of sweet chilli 

- Add it to soup and lose the bread 

- Add it to a frittata for more fuel 

- Veggie patty for more protein