Nutrition Diet And Health Science

BEAT THE BURN

There’s been so much research latelyhighlighting the link between chronicinflammation and health issues suchas heart disease, obesity, diabetes,depression and Alzheimer’s that I’mon a mission to inflammation-proofmy diet, and to help other peopleunderstand how they can do so too.Studies have shown that meals highin sugar and fat induce inflammationimmediately after you’ve consumed them,so cutting down on highly processed foodsis an obvious first step. Excess alcohol– more than 14 units a week – can alsostimulate inflammation.

Nutrients that could help reduce excessinflammation include omega-3 oils, Bvitamins (folate, B12, B1 and B6), vitaminE and zinc. A balanced diet with plenty offatty fish, lean protein, wholegrains, greenleafy veg, nuts and seeds will help provideall these vitamins and minerals.Excess inflammation can also be stronglydriven from the gut through less thanhealthy bacterial flora. To help boost levels of inflammation-damping gut bacteria, I’vebeen trying to eat ‘prebiotic’ foods everyday, including asparagus, onion, garlic,leeks, bananas and Jerusalem artichoke.Or try a prebiotic supplement, such asBimuno (£8.99 for 30 sachets; bimuno.com).Finally, being inactive is another keydriver of inflammation. But you don’tneed to be super fit to combat it – in fact,over-training can stimulate inflammation. A30-minute run three times a week is fine.

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PLACENTA ANYONE?

Rebekah Vardy, Danielle Lloyd andKourtney Kardashian are the latest in aline of celebrities to have consumed theirplacenta in capsule form. A quick internetsearch reveals a number of midwives anddoulas who offer placenta encapsulation(costing £200 upwards), but I’d advisecaution as there’s already been onereported case in the US of a bacterialinfection being passed from mum tobaby (it can be spread by skin contact)because of poorly prepared pills.‘Why take them?’ I hear you ask.Proponents say placenta pills increaseenergy levels, boost milk supply and fightpostnatal depression, but these areanecdotal reports only. If you do wantto follow the trend, take very special carein researching how the placenta pills aremade, which should include adequateheating to kill potential bugs. And ifyou can’t afford it, don’t worry – there’sno clinical evidence you’re missing outon anything.

Nutrition Diet And Health Science

FOODS FOR VEGAN PROTEIN

Q I’ve just become vegan – how can I get good amounts of protein?

A Tofu is still one of the best sources of vegan protein, with around 12gper 100g, depending on the variety. And Quorn vegan pieces contain 16gprotein per 100g. Seeds and nuts have as much as 30 per cent protein,but as you don’t eat these in very large quantities, grains (especially quinoa),which are eaten in larger amounts, will give you more. Don’t underestimatethe amount in wheat or oats – a serving of pasta or two thick slices ofwholemeal bread has up to 10g protein (around a fifth of your dailyrequirement), while a bowl of bran flakes or porridge with soya milk has asimilar amount to an egg (7g). Rice, almond and coconut milks don’t containmuch protein – the only plant milk alternative that has a good amount is soya.

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