Saturday, August 18, 2018

These healthy recipes can actually help you sleep better too

COOK, EAT, SLEEP...REPEAT 

These  healthy recipes can actually help you sleep better too

Eat To Sleep co-author Heather Thomas says cooking with chicken, prawns and even chocolate can be the recipe for an improved night's sleep

EATING the right foods can be the recipe for a good night’s sleep, according to a new book.
Heather Thomas, the co-author of Eat To Sleep, says ingredients including chicken, prawns and even chocolate have special powers to help us rest.
 The right food equals good sleep, which in turn equals better health
ALAMY
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The right food equals good sleep, which in turn equals better health
Not getting enough kip can make it hard to concentrate and lead to memory problems. Research also links it with Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
In an exclusive extract, we choose five recipes from her book that promote a healthy diet and sleep.

Seedy crisp cracker thins

TOP these with hummus or cheese, which contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid which regulates our mood and has a natural sedative effect.
The healthy carbs in the crackers will help speed up its absorption into your bloodstream.
(Makes 12 crackers)
 A delicious starter with a great crisp taste and some healthy carbohydrate content
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A delicious starter with a great crisp taste and some healthy carbohydrate content
YOU NEED:
150g rye flour; 100g wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting; ½ tsp baking powder; 1tsp fine sea salt; 5 tbsp olive oil; 150ml water; 85g pumpkin seeds and/or sesame seeds.
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Heat some non-stick baking sheets in the preheated oven. Put the flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in 4 tbsp of olive oil and the water. Mix to a soft dough. Knead with your hands on a floured surface until smooth.
Roll out as thinly as possible with a rolling pin, brush with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with seeds.
Fold the dough over and roll the seeds into it. Knead lightly and divide into 12 pieces. Roll out each one thinly again.
Remove the hot baking sheets from the oven and arrange the dough thins on them. Bake in batches for ten to 12 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for up to five days.

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Stress-control through vitamin B6 and a delicious hearty dish
YOU NEED:
1 x 1.5kg oven-ready chicken; 1 large onion, diced; 3 carrots, diced; 2 leeks, trimmed and shredded; 4 celery sticks, diced; 2 garlic cloves, crushed; 2 bay leaves; 3 fresh thyme sprigs; 1.8 litres water; 225g vermicelli noodles; Juice of ½ lemon (optional); 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped; sea salt and black pepper.
METHOD: Put chicken in a large saucepan. Add the veg, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Pour in water, season and bring to the boil on high heat.
Reduce to a simmer and partially cover with a lid. Cook gently for two hours, until veg is tender and the meat falls off the bone.
Remove chicken from pan and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Discard skin, cut meat into pieces and return it to soup with the noodles and most of the parsley.
Simmer until the noodles are cooked. Remove bay leaves, stir in lemon juice and serve with remaining parsley.

Prawn and spinach linguine

PRAWNS contain the calming amino acid tryptophan, while spinach provides a good source of magnesium, which relaxes the muscles and helps steadies the heart’s rhythm.
(Serves 4)
 Let the relaxation begin, with calming amino acids and muscle-relaxants in the spinach
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Let the relaxation begin, with calming amino acids and muscle-relaxants in the spinach
YOU NEED:
500g wholemeal linguine; 2 tbsp olive oil; 4 garlic cloves, crushed; 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped; grated zest and juice of a lemon; 120ml white wine; 400g raw, peeled large prawns; 300g baby spinach leaves; salt and black pepper.
METHOD: Cook pasta to the instructions on the packet and drain. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan set over a low heat.
Cook the garlic for one minute. Add half the parsley, plus the lemon zest, juice and wine. Turn up the heat and bubble until the sauce reduces (about five minutes).
Add the prawns and cook for one to two minutes.
Turn and cook the other side. Stir in the remaining parsley and spinach. Season to taste.
Add the cooked linguine and gently toss everything together.

Cherry, oat and almond crumble

CHERRIES boost melatonin levels which regulate your sleep cycle and help relieve insomnia. Oats are a good source of magnesium.
(Serves 4)
 Normally thought of as a breakfast ingredient, the magnesium in this crumble will relax muscles for a great night's sleep


YOU NEED:
900g cherries, stoned – keep a little juice; 4 tbsp caster sugar; 3 tbsp water; 2 tsp cornflour; lemon juice; creme fraiche or ice cream. For the crumble: 85g butter; 150g plain flour; 60g rolled oats; 4 tbsp ground almonds; 60g brown sugar; 2 tbsp; pumpkin seeds; 3 tbsp flaked almonds.
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Put the cherries, sugar and water in a pan over a low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes. In a bowl, stir the cornflour into the reserved bit of cherry juice until smooth.
Add to the cherries and stir until it starts to thicken. Add a dash of lemon juice and spoon into a baking dish.
For the crumble, rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats, ground almonds, sugar and pumpkin seeds.
Sprinkle with 2 to 3tsp cold water and stir to create small clumps. Spoon on top of the cherries and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Serve with creme fraiche or ice cream.

SOURCE: See more recipes here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/food/7041413/recipes-help-sleep-book/

Sunday, July 15, 2018

10 Plant-Based Recipes For Healthier Hair, Skin and Nails!



HEALTH



There’s a saying that says our nails, hair, and skin often tell us how healthy we are, and are signs of how healthy our diet is. Foods that inflame our cells and cause a breakdown and end up tearing apart the collagen, keratin, and elastin that provide supple skin, strong and silky hair, and strong, fast-growing nails. Toxic overload, stress, and poor diet all contribute to lackluster skin, dry and brittle hair, and brittle nails that never seem to grow. There are 5 Everyday Superfoods For Your Nails, Hair, and Skin and those are oats, almonds, raw organic pumpkin seeds, orange root veggies, and greens.

1. Almond Lover’s HummusAlmond Lover’s Hummus

Almonds are rich in Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that supports collagen production and provides anti-inflammatory benefits for the body. Almonds also contain a large amount of plant-based protein, rich in amino acids that are needed to support collagen growth and strengthen the body. Almonds are also a great source of calcium, which provides nutritional support for our bones, hair, skin, teeth, and nails. You should try this delicious Almond Lover’s Hummus.

2. How To Make Homemade Almond ButterHow To Make Homemade Almond Butter

Learn How To Make Homemade Almond Butter, so you can use it anytime you want. Soaking the almonds neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors and increases beneficial enzymes. You don’t really know if this step has been taken when you buy store bought almond butter, so when you make it yourself, you know it’s as nutritious as possible.

3. Protein Rich Green SmoothieProtein Rich Green Smoothie  

Your body soaks up the nutrients from green foods like a magical nutritional sponge! Vitamins A, C, E, K, and even B vitamins and iron are all provided to your body when you eat leafy greens. Green foods such as spinach, broccoli, kale, watercress, and collards also contain a good amount of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Try this Protein Rich Green Smoothie!

4. Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Chickpeas, Kale, Sprouts, and SeedsPurple Sprouting Broccoli, Chickpeas, Kale, Sprouts, and Seeds

Purple sprouting broccoli is in season and a perfect addition to a winter vegetable plate. The vegetable provides many benefits, including Vitamin A and C, iron, fiber, and calcium. If you can’t find purple sprouting broccoli, no problem, replace them with regular broccoli. Try this Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Chickpeas, Kale, Sprouts, and Seeds!

5. Sweet Potato SaladSweet Potato Salad

Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and winter squash all contain high amounts of Vitamin A which support your nails, hair, and skin as well. These foods are also rich in Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant that lower stress which can weaken collagen, elastin, and keratin in the body. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant to combat free radical production that can lead to aging. So, try this delicious and easy Sweet Potato Salad.

6. Roasted Veggies With Buttery Garlic and Spinach SaladRoasted Veggies With Buttery Garlic and Spinach Salad

This Roasted Veggies With Buttery Garlic and Spinach Salad contains everything you’ll need. We’ve got oven-baked sweet potatoes, potatoes, eggplant and garlic paired with a spinach salad, all topped off with tomatoes, sunflower seeds and bell peppers.

7. Baked Sweet Potato With Pesto Pasta, Tomatoes, and Pumpkin SeedsBaked Sweet Potato With Pesto Pasta, Tomatoes, and Pumpkin Seeds

Every part of the pumpkin is a superfoodPumpkin seeds are some of the most potent, alkaline, nutritious seeds you can eat. They’re rich in protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, biotin, and omega 3 fatty acids. They’re also alkaline-forming like almonds so they build the body instead of breaking it down. Try our healthy Baked Sweet Potato With Pesto Pasta, Tomatoes, and Pumpkin Seeds.

8. Power Bread With Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Sesame Seeds, and Pumpkin SeedsPower Bread With Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Sesame Seeds, and Pumpkin Seeds

Power Bread With Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Sesame Seeds, and Pumpkin Seeds has all the healthy seeds you need in your diet. Eat 1/4 cup a day and you’ll see stronger nails, hair, and clearer skin in no time.

9. Roasted Cauliflower and Coconut Overnight Porridge PotsRoasted Cauliflower and Coconut Overnight Porridge Pots

Oats are one of the most inexpensive superfoods you can eat. Even if you don’t digest glutinous grains well, gluten-free oats are there to save you. Whole grains are important for most everyone’s diets. Opt for our Roasted Cauliflower and Coconut Overnight Porridge Pots. This make-ahead friendly and plant-based bowl is wonderfully creamy, sweet, and belly-filling in all the right ways.

10. 4-Ingredient No-Bake Banana Bread Bars4-Ingredient No-Bake Banana Bread Bars

Oats have specific benefits that your nails, hair, and skin will appreciate. These nutrients include protein, biotin and other B vitamins, anti-inflammatory properties, magnesium, and potassium. These 4-Ingredient No-Bake Banana Bread Bars are so good that you’ll be hard-pressed to share.

Other foods your hair loves:

Source: One Green Planet

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar you didn't know about

Apple Cider Vinegarplay
Apple Cider Vinegar
 (Healthline)

The popular uses range from teeth whitening to acne prevention, but here are some health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar you probably didn't know about.
Packaged bottles of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) are quickly disappearing off supermarket shelves due to its recent surge in popularity. Despite this, the list of benefits has been known for a long time - as far back as 5000 B.C. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates prescribed it mixed with honey as a cure for coughs and common cold.
ACV is made from fermented apple cider to produce raw enzymes and probiotics. This natural helper has been said to keep blood sugar in check, amp up weight loss and even improve the appearance of acne and scarring.
Prescribed dosage: One or two tablespoons of ACV in a cup of water for injestion. For skin care, mix equal parts of water and ACV i.e. the same amount of ACV and water.
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Below are eight benefits of taking ACV that are supported by scientific research.
1. Helps cure cold symptoms

A spoon of apple cider vinegar is rich enough in high acetic acid to prevent germ growth that cause nasal congestion. It also contains potassium which thins mucus, thereby, giving your immune system a quick boost when you’re feeling under the weather.

2. High in acetic acid, ACV can kill many types of harmful bacteria

ACV can act as a disinfectant and natural preservative as it can help kill pathogens, including bacteria. Traditionally, it has been used for cleaning and disinfecting wounds, treating nail fungus, lice, warts, ear infections, etc.
Vinegar can also be used as a natural way to preserve food because it inhibits bacteria from growing in food and spoiling it.

3. Aids weight loss

Each tablespoon contains just 3–5 calories and very minimal sugar.
The acetic acid increases satiety and suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolism, and reduces water retention. If paired with a high-carb meal, you get increased feelings of fullness and can take in substantially less calories over the course of the day. Although the amount of weight loss from ACV is minimal, it is still encouraged to go along with healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

4. Lowers cholesterol levels

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2006 found that rats who had acetic acid, the main component of ACV, in their diets lowered their bad cholesterol (LDL) and raised their good cholesterol (HDL). Another research, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2011, also discovered that ACV can help control triglycerides.

5. Improves skin health

 

ACV also acts as a natural toner. Mix equal parts of the vinegar and water, and apply by dabbing with a cotton ball. Leave for a while and then rinse. The malic acid in ACV contains antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that keep the skin clean, balanced and free of acne while encouraging it to heal itself. The mixture helps to even out skin tone, balance skin pH and even battle breakouts.

6. Maintains pH balance

Acid-alkaline balance is essential and the body is constantly striving to achieve that equilibrium state. So many bodily functions occur at a particular pH level so a simple small change in pH can have a profound effect on body functioning. As most people are acidic in nature, consuming ACV with meals has an alkalizing effect on the body, thereby keeping the balance needed for healthy living.
Apple Cider Vinegarplay
Apple Cider Vinegar
 (CNN)

Also, ACV is rich in probiotics which ward off vaginal yeast infections, urogenital infections, and bacterial vaginosis by keeping the vaginal microbiome and pH in balance.

7. Prevents Indigestions and boosts gut health

Beneficial bacteria contained in apple cider vinegar can enhance the health of your digestive system and improved ability to digest and absorb nutrients. A glass of properly diluted ACV can also aid relieve upset stomachs, diarrhoea, intestinal spasms thanks to its antibiotic properties.

8. Relieves heartburn

Heartburns are a result of low levels of stomach acids. Taking a diluted shot of ACV right before meals can increase levels of stomach acid to prevent backflow into the esophagus and reduce symptoms of heartburn.