Posts Tagged ‘food’

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!


That quote that your mum used to (or still does!) repeatedly drum into your ears is actually truer than you think, unlike eating your crusts to make your hair go curly. Apples are packed with many fantastic vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are beneficial to the body. By consuming a minimum of one apple a day it helps you meet the nutrient requirements for maintaining optimum health.

Did you know that apple can make you have whiter teeth? Biting or chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, which decreases the chance of tooth decay and levels of bacteria. Much better than that caffeine and a healthier source of energy!

The fibre intake from apples is also linked to lower cholesterol levels, giving you a healthier heart! The high soluble fibre found in apples reduces the build up of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries, which can cause a reduction in blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.

The consumption of apples could also reduce the risks of developing some cancers. It has been found that the apple peel contains compounds that act as anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, lung, colon and breast, and with its high fibre content can reduce chances colorectal cancer. Apples also reduce problems involving the respiratory system associated with asthma and smoking.

Although apples help your insides they can also improve your outsides too! It sounds funny in this context but apples are strongly linked to weight loss and clearer skin. Having a fibre rich diet is recommended when trying to lose weight as foods with high fibre fill you up easily. Apples are high in fibre, not to mention that apples are also negative calorie foods! So you burn more calories eating them than they actually contain! Apples are also a great anti-aging mask, by providing the skin with antioxidants. They balance the oil production in the skin and provide great hydrating, cleansing effects by acting as an exfoliant.

On top of all this apples also contain quercetin, an antioxidant which has been shown to sharpen memory and learning. It helps with the prevention of age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Show me one good reason why you shouldn’t have an apple a day, and I’ll show you a liar!


Negative calorie foods


I thought since tomorrow is Friday I would add to the good news and provide you with some light reading on negative calorie foods! Negative calorie foods don’t literally have negative calories, but your body burns more calories digesting the food than the actually contains. So get chomping on these delicious fruits and veggies!




cabbage (green)
green beans

The hidden benefits of carrots!

ImageWe all know carrots as one of the most popular and well loved vegetables but they also provide the body with extra hidden benefits! Carrots have been found to prevent cancer and heart disease, improve vision, nourish the skin, improve dental health and also help with anti-aging.

Carrots help with lowering the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. They are partly made up of a compound named falcarinol, which is a natural pesticide which prevents the roots from fungal diseases. It is also believed that a regular intake of carrots lowers cholesterol, which is associated with lowering the risks of heart disease.

Vitamin A is needed for the retina of the eye in order to function. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a substance which is converted into vitamin A. In addition, beta-carotene is also helpful with preventing the development of cataracts as well as providing anti-oxidants which help to slow down the aging of cells and effects associated with aging. The vitamin A and other nutrients from carrots also nourish the skin and can be effective for treating acne and skin blemishes, due to its strong cleansing properties.

Believe it or not, carrots also help to keep your teeth clean! They act as natural abrasives. This helps to eliminate plague and dirt, as well as triggering saliva which helps to keep your teeth from staining. Carrots also contain minerals which help to kill germs and contribute to prevention of tooth damage.

The hidden benefits of carrots can be extremely  beneficial to the body. They are also easy to add to your diet and don’t require a large amount of preparation. Time to start chomping those carrots!

Green stir fry with sesame and soy


  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 4 bunches baby bok choy
  • 200g snowpeas
  • 200g sugar snap peas
  • 100g baby corn
  • jasmine rice

Mix together soy sauce, hoisin sauce and stock in a small jug.

Heat wok over high heat and add vegetable and sesame oil. Add garlic, ginger and bok choy, stir fry for approximately 3 minutes. Add snowpeas, sugar snap peas and baby corn. Stir fry for a further 5 minutes. Pour in sauce in toss until ingredients are lightly coated. Once vegetables are tender, serve immediately with jasmine rice.


The dangers of food poisoning


I am sure we have all heard of food poisoning, but do we really know what the common causes actually are? Many different types of food can make you sick. When the handling of food is poor it can contain harmful bacteria and viruses which lead to food poisoning. Sometimes the food may not look, taste or smell any different than it normally does but in reality you could be consuming more than you bargained for.

The risk of food poisoning can be minimized by taking simple precautions. Some of the more common high risk foods include raw and cooked meat (such as chicken), dairy products, eggs, prepared salads, smallgoods (ham, salami), seafood and ready-to-eat meals. It is important that food is stored outside the ‘temperature danger zone’. The danger zone is from 5 to 60 degrees Celsius, which is where the bacteria grows the fastest. This means that we need to keep food either very hot or very cold in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

When preparing food it is important to separate meats from fresh food, as well as raw and cooked meat. If they are not separated, it is known as cross contamination. This occurs when a bacteria or virus is transferred from a contaminated food to a non-contaminated. This happens more frequently when using raw and cooked meat together or raw meat and fresh foods together. This can be minimized by using separate chopping boards, knives and plates when preparing food.

For obvious reasons we should be washing our hands before handling food, after touching raw meat or unwashed vegetables, after using the bathroom, blowing your nose or touching a pet. These are small factors that people often forget. You should be thoroughly washing your hands with hot water and lathered soap, then drying your hands completely with a clean towel. It is just a simple step to reducing the risks of bacteria.

Lastly, the storing of food is an important step to avoid food poisoning and it is often done incorrectly, both in the household and other environments such as supermarkets and restaurants. In your fridge, make sure you are separating raw food from cooked food. Store the raw meat at the bottom of the fridge to reduce chances of dripping juices onto other foods. Also check the temperature of your fridge, as it should be below 5°C and your freezer at below -15°C. Cover all foods with lids or plastic wraps and don’t use or store any opened tin cans.

By following these simple steps we can all reduce the risk of food poisoning in our homes. Make sure you are preparing your food safely, using clean utensils and storing your food correctly in safe conditions. Did you know that severe cases of food poisoning can kill? Don’t take these precautions lightly , bacteria can multiply very quickly and it won’t stop for anyone.

For more information on the prevention of food head to