Green tea, we all know it is good for you but how come?
Green tea is a very popular maybe down to the strong association with good health, but generally tea is having a major revival and with that comes lots of choice…
So, what makes Green Tea different?
To make the tea, leaves of Camellia sinensis are chopped, rolled and quickly steamed or heated to inactivate polyphenol oxidase.
However these processes surprisingly don’t affect the teas superpower, they amazingly managing to retain a considerable amount of their original catechins (Flavonoids) , and also result in a the development of some unique compounds (Vinson & Dabbagh, 1998).
With the growing interest in western cultures the green tea bandwagon is filled to the brim with differemt versions!
According to studies, Twinning’s Green Tea showed to embrace all the good things that all green teas promise to the highest level!
Matcha green tea is a powdered tea, where you ingest the whole tealeaf instead of simply the infusion, this brings along with it many benefits and unique nutrition characteristics such as the beta-carotene equivalent to a bowl of spinach!
Although green tea is a rich source of bioactive compounds (polyphenols and methyxanthines) the extraction efficiency of these compounds strongly depends on the extraction conditions.
The first extract (brewing) of green teas is often discarded due to excessive astringency, but what happens when we reuse the tea bag… well…
It is concluded that the practice of reusing tea samples is not a good way of drinking since most of health enhancing compounds (flavonoids) decompose (Astill, Birch, Dacombe, Humphrey, & Martin, 2001).
Research shows that the stability of bioactive compounds within green teas really does vary according to its preparation and storage.
Findings from investigations suggest that maximum extraction (getting the good bits out) efficiency of bioactive compounds (the good stuff) from green tea is achieved by brewing at 80 °C, for 5′ (powder), 15′ (bagged) and 30′ (loose leaf).
However, lets face it we don’t make a cup of tea to enjoy 30 mins later! So leave it for five and hope for the best I say! Also any longer then that and I always suffer the typical green tea bitterness, where you sip it thinking…
“oh this is why it is good for you, it tastes awful’
Enjoy your green tea often throughout the day, and if you’re decadent, enough to get the Matcha stuff… mix it into smoothies(add kiwis for extra green goodness and flavour!), soups or within your dressing for your salad!
Most people who know me have been subjected to my continuous cries for T.L.C this week as I have been suffereing with a dreadfull cold.
My superfood combat was initiated promptly after the first sniffle, my superfoods would conquer over this foreign enemy I was sure of it!
However it appeared that the cold was definitely not shifting so I began to rekindle my love affair with “potions”, Old wives tales, well Richy’s mums traditional remedy more like.
The main guy was the don of the citrus family… the Lemon.
On the tongue its bitter but used appropriately proves time and time again to be invaluable within the kitchen, and here is why;
Top ten reasons to ensure lemons are high on the agenda!
1. Mixed with hot water an effective potion is created for curing problems like digestive disorders, nausea, and heartburn
2. Regular consumption of lemon juice in the morning stimulates the bile-producing capacity of liver and aids digestion.
3. Lemons can promote the absorption of calcium and iron from natural foods.
4. The high vitamin C content (one regular-sized lemon supplies about 30 percent of an average person’s daily requirement) of lemons treats infections like asthma, tonsillitis and sore throat.
5. Concentrated juice of lemon also helps in dissolving stones present in the gall bladder.
6. Eating lemons also hastens healing of wounds and helps to lower high body temperature.
7. Lemon is also a well-known diuretic. Thus, it helps to treat problems associated with urinary tract infections.
8. Eating lemons also helps to dispel problems like arthritis or rheumatism.
9. Lemon juice mixed with glycerin is an effective remedy for smoothening chapped lips.
10. Lastly you can always put it in your bath for a deep cleanse.
From this it is easy to see the link with old wives tales and this member of the citrus family.
When buying lemons make sure you are meticulous, choose the ones that are smallish, heavy for their size, shiny, smooth or fine-grained skins oh and of course yellow! large lemons may be very appealing but it is an illusion, they are often thick-skinned and contain less of the essential juice!
Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving, in shriving, a person confesses their sins and receives absolution for them. As Lent is a time of abstinence, this meant that the Tuesday before was the last day of indulgence, which is of course paired with the enjoyment of food!
So where do the pancakes come in, well the need to eat up the fats gave rise to the French name Mardi Gras (‘fat Tuesday’) and as the traditional fat stores in the house just so happened to once combined create a mixture which when put in a pan made a sort of cake hence pancakes becoming associated with Shrove Tuesday.
I remember Pancake Day with such fondness, however to be fair in my household pancakes were often on the menu. For some reason or another pancakes were not to be saved for the annual occasion!
Nevertheless, this meant that for Pancake Day expectations were heightened, extra flipping, Nutella maybe, or perhaps push the boat out with the real deal maple syrup, but only the true Canadian stuff!
Whats more, how can I forget the good ol pancake race at school, any plea to break up the normal routine!
In the tradition of giving something up for lent, I am doing just that. I have decided to give up idleness, as by the time the period of lent is over so will my second year of dietetics which means there is no space for dithering or dathering on the contrary time to focus, wish me luck!
Demographic trends show that we are living in an ageing population. It is projected that by 2031 23% of the population will be over 65, and 3.8% over 85. This has increased from 13% and 0.7% retrospectively since 1971. The most dramatic demographic changes are in the oldest age group (80 years and over). With an ageing population it is important to look at changing and adapting policies and re-evaluating present health services and social support. This change is essential to ensure that the ageing members of our population are living comfortably rather then just abstaining from death.
‘Evidence from studies suggests that poor nutritional status in older people may increase susceptibility to disease and the severity of illness, in addition to being a corollary of the disease process itself’ (Prentice 2002)
The ageing process involves the progressive change in the efficiency to perform biological functions; genes account for 25% of this and the remainder can be associated with nutrition, activity, environment, chance and other lifestyle factors.
This essay will include current nutritional requirements for older adults, in comparison to a young adult, and will highlight particular areas of concern in nutrition that are age specific. It is also necessary to discuss the reasons why certain increments or decreases are required as well as covering age associated diseases and ailments, which can affect the nutritional status of this population.
‘A good diet can help reduce older people’s risk of a wide variety of health problems including constipation and other digestive disorders, anaemia, diabetes mellitus, muscle and bone disorders, overweight, and coronary heart disease and stroke. Nutrition also plays an important part in achieving a good recovery from illness and surgery.’ (The Caroline Walker Trust 2004)
There are limiting factors that can additionally prevent or inhibit optimum nutrition in the elderly. These include social, financial, physical and cultural differences that can alter food ‘choices’.
It is commonly agreed, that nutrition for elderly is similar to that of a young adult but key changes physically alter certain requirements:
‘Nutritional problems of the aged generally arise from reduced intake and impaired absorption and metabolism of nutrients, but that an increased requirement of the body for certain nutrients is also involved’(Frankie Phillips. 2003)
It is understood that due to the change in body composition where lean body mass is reduced as you age, with this comes a reduced basal metabolic rate, a reduction of 9-12% in comparison to that of an adult aged 18-30 years. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is one of the major components of energy expenditure, therefore if this is reduced so is the requirement for energy.
This table shows EAR (Estimated average requirement) of energy for a male throughout his adult life:
The table shows that between 50 and 65 there is approximately a 200kcal energy requirement reduction, and from 50 to 75+ a further 280kcal reduction. However the micronutrients requirements remain the same, and in some cases an increase is needed for specific nutrients. Therefore, there is a necessity for a ‘nutrient dense’ diet.
I have moved to Scotland where Porridge has been consumed as a staple food since the middle Ages.
Sales of porridge oats continue to be higher in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, with Scott’s Porridge Oats taking the highest brand share.
The debate over the best recipe continues among porridge enthusiasts, techniques and variations in toppings are some of the many differences.
Do you half and half (water and milk)?
Maybe a dash of cream?
Savoury or sweet?
Whatever the choice the outcome will always be the same as the main constituent is the oat, and that means good lot of fiber, vitamins & minerals and a little protein too!
“Oats are grown throughout the temperate zones. They have a lower summer heat requirement and greater tolerance of rain than other cereals, such as wheat, rye or barley, so are particularly important in areas with cool, wet summers, such as Northwest Europe; they are even being grown successfully in Iceland.”
So Scotland weather is at least favourable to some things!
Oats have become rather trendy in recent times, and it is probably on of the only things David Cameron, Kate Moss and Tim Henman all have in common?
Yes Apparently, porridge oats share their company most mornings!
“Last January, Quaker Oats revealed that its sales had risen an astonishing 200 per cent since January 2009, and reported the largest orders in the company’s 110-year history.”
This rise in popularity shows trends in social opinion, from the view throughout history as a dish for the poor to my mum’s generation of British slang for serving a prison sentence
it is now being served in top hotels such as the Dorchester, and it will only set you back £7.50!
Of course the oats reputation for being plain has had to have a superfruit makeover, with the addition of blueberries and pumpkin seeds being a firm favourite.
The versatility of oats can be leant to its many forms:
Groats, or kernels, are made by having the oats hulled and their outer casing removed. They are particularly nutritious. However, they are hard to chew, so they are often soaked and cooked.
These whole-grain groats have been cut into just two or three pieces by steel, rather than being rolled. They resemble small rice pieces, and are also known as ‘pinhead oats’.
Jumbo rolled oats
These are the most popular – and the most familiar. The whole groats are steamed and rolled to make oat flakes. They have a slightly lower nutritional value than unsteamed oats, but cook in a few minutes.
Oatmeal consists of oat grouts that have been ground up. The finer they are ground, the smoother texture of the resulting porridge. For fluffier porridge, it is recommended to stir and whisk them.
Made from groats that have been cut into tiny pieces, oats are practical even for those where time is scarce, however be careful to check for added salt and sugar!
Oats have a natural resourcefulness, at any state of production they hold onto as much of their original nutrients as possible. They do this by retaining the bran and germ, which gives them the exclusive flavour.
Oats have many health benefits due to their key attributes:
High fiber content, both soluble and insoluble is often linked to improved health however oats have unique qualities with added health benefits…
The relationship with Tupperware began with envy. Yes my round sunshine Vitalite margarine tub did the job of keeping my folded peanut butter and jam sandwiches from coating my exercise books, but they didn’t have handy compartments nor was there space for my yoghurt which ended up coating the entire contents of my bag nonetheless!
Then the day came when I started making my own pack lunch, this stage of my Tupperware relationship is called clip and go. Along came no leaks pretty much guaranteed!
The simple seal function is now somewhat prehistoric with the influx of designer luncheon boxes, from sushi accommodating to those with compartments for anything that you may fancy!
This stage is ongoing and best expressed as romantic, the attire lures me in, what are the possibilities, what meals will I be able to enjoy wherever and whenever I please, and is it durable will it last.
Today Tupperware is just one player in the plastic-container game first introduced to the public in 1946 by Earl Silas Tupper. This only makes sense now, as up until last week I was in fact calling it “Tubberware” which before I knew who created it seemed logical!
I have signed up, I am sealed in and every time my food containers deliver!
Burns night last year was celebrated via a Haggis Pizza courtesy of the bier hall. I am in Scotland and having an Italian dish in a Belgium beverage house with a clumsy addition of the national specialty! Seemed wrong some how, so this year would be different.
The notion of making a haggis crossed my mind, very briefly I may add. This crazy thought was soon dropped when I realised the need for a sheep’s stomach.
The local butcher came to the rescue, and what a treat!
Haggis is traditionally made out of a sheep’s stomach filled with liver, heart lung, oatmeal, suet, stock, onions and spices.
There is a frequent tale told that a “Haggis” is a small Scottish animal with one set of legs longer than the other so that it can stand on the steep Scottish Highlands without falling over. Believe it or not according to one poll, 33% of American visitors to Scotland believe haggis to be an animal.
I would love to say that I recited some classic Rabbie burns, but sadly no, maybe next year…
“Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”
This is the Selkirk Grace A short but important prayer read to usher in the meal, although Rich could hardly wait for me to take photos let alone a recital.
Another part which was truly missed from the night was the “Toast to the Lassies” This is designed to praise the role of women in the world today, maybe Rich could do this everyday as a substitute as there is a considerable amount to praise!
The food was humble in appearance and rich in flavour, and there should be no waste, just enough for the next days pack lunch!
This week Rich and I managed to plan meals and stick to them. Breakfasts, snacks, dinners and tea all equates to a lot of food being consumed! But what a week of food, and we thoroughly enjoyed every moment.
We decided to hijack Tesco which meant Sunday involved walking to the fish market, green grocers, Marks and Spencer and to balance out the costs and add a continental flair Aldi. Prepared with bags, sensible shoes and gloves Rich and I set on our mission.
One of the fruits of our labour was the diverse avocado; it has been a while since the summer salad season when they have the ability to accompany any assembly of salad like ingredients. But why eat avocados, aren’t they fattening(mum’s 70/80’s attitude)?
30 grams of fat
Between 71 to 88% of their total calories come from fat
But does a high fat content simple mean the food is fattening?
When you take a closer look, or comparison to other high fat foods the difference is clear a typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat, but 20 of these fat grams are health-promoting monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid.
High levels of healthful nutrients known as carotenoids can be found under the rough skin, Lutein being one of these and is soluble in fat as are carotenoids in general. Therefore, it just so happens that when you eat an avocado with all that available oleic acid (fat) your in fact boosting the carotenoids availability to yourself… be this just coincidental.
What were natures plans when it mustered up the complexity and compatibility of nutrients held within these beautifully fatty fruit?
In a laboratory study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, an extract of avocado containing these carotenoids and tocopherols inhibited the growth of both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells…But when researchers tried exposing the prostate cancer cells to lutein alone, the single carotenoid did not prevent cancer cell growth and replication. The whole matrix of carotenoids and tocopherols (vitamin a) in avocado necessary for its ability to kill prostate cancer cells. It appears that nature’s level of biochemistry should be appreciated and before we decide to take a supplement, which may not be absorbed as efficiently, try enjoying the taste of the avocado by adding it to a colourful dish (as colour usual equals carotenoids).
So maybe it is time to look at the avocado from a different angle?
“The pea is one of the first crops that can be grow I the spring. Many consider the planting of peas to signify the return of spring. The pea can be planted as soon as the soil is warm enough to work in very early spring”
Maybe this sentence gives reason to the growing craving I am having for the little powerful Poddington Peas, is it a longing for spring I wonder!
Mendel owed a lot to peas, he began studying plant breading by trying to find the effects of crossing different strains of common garden pea.
Peapods are botanically a fruit, although everyone knows them personally as a vegetable.
Peas come in all shapes and sizes and by the 17th and 18th centuries, it had become popular to eat peas “green”, that is, while they are immature and right after they are picked.
This was especially true in France and England, and so the humble garden pea was born!
Madame de Maintenon (King Louis XIV’s second wife) wrote that,
“Some ladies, even after having supped at the Royal Table, and well supped too, returning to their own homes, at the risk of suffering from indigestion, will again eat peas before going to bed. It is both a fashion and a madness. “
And so.. the modest English garden pea was now not so meek!
Green peas are a very good source of:
folate and thiamin (vitamin B1).
I love to use this method of analysis when it comes to satisfying my curiosity with food, as there may be many things worse then hunger, but i do hate being hungry!
They are also a good source of:
riboflavin (vitamin B2)
copper, iron, zinc and potassium
so all this equates to peas being a good “rounded” nutritious food, but what about the taste?
The only way to test that is to make a simple pea soup with the main show stopper the garden pea, featuring a handy shallot and some hot peppercorns.
and shows the relationship between broccoli’s nutritional value and its ability to keep you fuller for longer, and it is apparent that its right up there :-D
Gram for gram, boiled broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk
But take care not to overcook; 4 minutes in a steamer should be adequate, or how about trying the florets raw in your favourite salad.
Due to it also being one of the most gas producing vegetables, to keep those in close proximity happy I would suggest to eat with ginger or garlic or in fact both to minimise this.
Broccoli has large amounts of chromium, which regulate blood sugar levels and keep hunger at bay so it’s a food that suppresses appetite naturally.
Then there are the ever more exciting phytonutrients within broccoli, such as sulforaphane and the indoles, which have significant anti-cancer effects.
Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to suppress not only breast tumor cell growth, but also cancer cell metastasis (the movement of cancerous cells to other parts of the
Sulforaphane, which increases the activity of a group of enzymes in our bodies that squelch cancer-causing agents
While Broccoli is pretty super on it’s on merit, there is a trusty sidekick whom will only amplify the health benefits!
"When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect. We think it’s because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways," said John Erdman, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois.
Recently I have enjoyed rediscovering grapefruits; maybe like my new love affair with dark chocolate and coffee these are tastes I have “matured” into.
So why eat them?
Well they taste delicious and I have found after eating one, my appetite seems to be contained.
I have researched a little, and it is apparent that there is more to grapefruits than what meets the eye!
Well firstly let’s define it,
A natural hybridisation of Pomelo and Orange.
Subsequently they are naturally a great source of Vitamin C, in fact one portion can provide upto 52% of DRI
Fruits are also known for there fibre content
An orange will give you seven grams, an apple five, and banana four.
But half a grapefruit provides six grams. That is about a quarter of the amount health authorities recommend!
As with most fruits, roughly half of a grapefruit’s fiber is insoluble (which helps prevent constipation and which may reduce the risk of colon cancer) and half is soluble (which helps lower cholesterol levels).
When you recall eating a grapefruit it is usually the distinctive bitter taste that springs to mind. This is due to Naringin, a major flavonoid within Grapefruits.
It is metabolised to an active form Naringenin by us, and then continues to have a bioactive effect on human health as “antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, carbohydrate metabolism promoter, and immune system modulator.” According to research!!!
This made me consider maybe it was similar to the toothpaste syndrome…. When you brush your teeth the last thing you want to do is eat!
Or when reflecting on the length of time it took me to eat a grapefruit, it appeared that I was there for quite sometime, unlike an apple or orange. Relating this to the theory or eating slowly as a weight loss mechanism.
It is well known that the brain takes 20 minutes to start signaling feelings of fullness, so if we eat time consuming foods the chances are we wont overeat!
However from recent reports Lead researcher Professor Murray Huff has quoted…
"What was unique about the study was that the effects were independent of caloric intake, meaning the mice ate exactly the same amount of food and the same amount of fat.
"There was no suppression of appetite or decreased food intake, which are often the basis of strategies to reduce weight gain and its metabolic consequences."
I will continue to enjoy eating Grapefruits nonetheless, but with the anticipation that all this is going on as I do!
Quite a lot from a breakfast fruit, and yet to be coined as a “super” fruit!
An egg is one of the most nutritious food items in our diet. It is rich in minerals, proteins, and vitamins, all of which are easily absorbed by the body.
It is one of the only dietary sources of vitamin D, and great source of Choline that helps keep our nervous system running smoothly!
According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneration due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients have increased bioavailability (improved usability) to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.
My Mum always said it was unhealthy to have eggs everyday, although I think this was a mixture of 80’s mindset and her strong sense of smell.
Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person’s lipid profile (The lipid profile is a group of tests that are often requested together to determine risk of coronary heart disease) and may, in fact, improve it.
Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol, and with eggs having only 5g of total fat with just 1.5g of that being saturated we can say that there is a lot worse out there!
And before I end this post I must mention the quality of protein eggs have! They give us all 9 essential amino acids,
An Amino Acid Score of 100 or higher indicates a complete or high-quality protein.
Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.
When buying eggs make sure there are from happy hens! They taste better and lets face it we have all seen the terrible conditions for those barn eggs and if we stop buying them there will not be the demand and profits to be made, so always happy eggs please!
I find this invaluable, although I must warn you it can become addictive and before you know it you have spent your entire evening analysing the contents of every cupboard in a scrupulous manner.
So enjoy your apples.
A great mid afternoon energy boost, with the ability to silence any hungry growl is slicing an apple, adding big unrefined oats (Scottish) and your favourite flavour yoghurt. Mix until every bit of apple is covered and enjoy,
Sometimes if you leave it for a couple of minutes, it allows the oats to absorb the moisture and become that little bit softer!