Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Health Benefits

EVOO

HEALTH BENEFITS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL – EVOO

Many of the regular oils available for cooking are invariably stripped of the very important antioxidants and vital nutrients the body requires for optimum good health. The benefits of extra virgin olive oil are enormous because EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) is extracted from the olive fruit tree without any chemical extraction at all … and no involvement of heating either.

To label a bottle of olive oil as Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Cold Pressed) or (First Cold Pressed) is significant as the oil must be of the highest grade.  It means the olives were extracted only once and at a temperature that didn’t exceed of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 degrees Celsius). This ensures EVOO has the best possible aromas and flavours and retains all of the natural richness and earthiness possible.  Cold pressed olive oil is full of all the essential antioxidants and nutrients possible, for optimum health benefits.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the highest quality olive oil available. 

The quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, EVOO. is measured by the composition of monounsaturated fatty acids and also the phenolic compounds found within the Extra Virgin Oil.  It’s these two compounds that give Extra Virgin Olive Oil benefits for health. It is referred to as evoo food, and many people use it in cooking.  Extra virgin olive oil is, in essence, cold pressed olive oil.  It is widely known for its outstanding major health benefits.  The olives are extracted from the olive grove fruit trees by hand or by shaking the branches lightly, causing the olives to fall, without any chemical or heating production involved.

Those who have long lived along The Mediterranean Coastal regions have been found to have a far lower rates of heart disease. It has been concluded that a diet that is well balanced and includes a higher level of Extra Virgin Olive Oil EVOO may have a dramatic effect on their cardiovascular heart health.

The key message is that those who consume higher levels of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in their diet have a far greater likelihood of lowering their chances of heart disease compared to those who consume a far lesser amount.

EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil has many health promoting benefits.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil has very powerful cardio-protective properties that help to lower blood pressure and may also help in preventing hardening of the arteries.

Therefore, by simply adding higher amounts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your diet regularly, you will gain significant health benefits.

6 Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Antioxidant benefits may fight against heart disease

Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains large amounts of powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation in the body.  It also may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure which in turn may reduce the risks of heart disease

2. Anti-inflammatory benefits for Rheumatoid Arthritis

As we age, inflammation can build up in the joints due to recreational activities, causing many sports injuries and joint cartilage damage.  The general wear and tear in everyday life… lifting, straining, stretching, and sitting, all put extra stress and strain on knee, back, hand and finger joints… in fact on all the different parts of the body’s joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be very painful.   Studies have been made on the benefits of combining omega-3 fish oil with Extra Virgin olive oil as it may help in reducing inflammation for arthritis sufferers.  If you suffer from arthritis, you may wish to consult with your doctor about adding to your diet supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, along with small amounts of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), as it may improve inflammation.

3. Monounsaturated fat benefits helping reduce strokes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil has monounsaturated fat properties which may help lower the risk of blood clotting and may help with prevention of stroke or lower the risk of stroke.

4. May lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes

It is often recommended that diabetics adopt a Mediterranean Diet lifestyle as this could result in better health results by exploiting the benefits of EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Phenolic compounds in Extra Virgin Olive Oil may even help protect against getting Type 2 diabetes.  They may also help diabetics manage glucose metabolism for those who have insulin sensitivities.  So, it may be beneficial for diabetes sufferers to have a higher intake of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in their diet.  

5. May help protect against certain cancers

Extra Virgin Olive Oil may play an important protective role in certain cancers.  It has been found that those who consume greater amounts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil are at lower risk than others who don’t.  This may be due to its unique Oleacanthal properties.

Oleocanthal is a phenylethanoid, or a type of natural phenolic compound found in extra-virgin olive oil.  It has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

6. May protect against risks of Brain disease

Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s phenolic properties may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and age-related diseases.  It is suggested that a Mediterranean Diet with a higher level of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) may help fight against cognitive function decline, and memory loss.


Read more about …HOW EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IS EXTRACTED FROM THE OLIVE

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HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER

Benefits of ginger

Ginger is one of the most delicious foods, packed with nutrients and the health benefits of ginger are well known. Ginger benefits the whole body.

Ginger is an underground rhizome that is native to Asia and generally referred to as ginger root or just ginger. It has been used widely for its powerful medicinal properties and used historically in both traditional and alternative medicine.  

Eating raw Ginger

Its medicinal properties have been used for centuries as a spice in food and for its well-known natural healing benefits.

Ginger is commonly used in cooking as a spice, along with other spices. It is related to turmeric and they are often used together in drinks, curries and other foods.

Ginger for Sore Throat

The powerful medicinal benefits of ginger on the body are amazing.  It is one of the traditional herbs that is very versatile because it is used both as a culinary spice and as a remarkable herbal remedy. It can be taken raw, or as a powder, added to foods, drinks and also taken as a supplement.


9 Health Benefits of Ginger

The health benefits of ginger are remarkable…

1.    Relieves Nausea

Throughout history ginger has been commonly used for digestion problems… bloating,  nausea and other digestive issues. By drinking ginger tea with a slice of lemon and perhaps or a small amount of honey if needed, prior to travelling, it may alleviate travel nausea.  Ginger is especially helpful for morning sickness also.

2.    Alleviates Muscle and Joint Pain

Reduces Muscle and joint pain by its anti-inflammatory properties.  Ginger has been well known for aiding in joint stiffness and the pain of inflamed muscles, along with arthritis problems.

3.    Reduces Menstrual Problems

Menstrual cramps or discomfort may be relieved by taking ginger for the first few days of a woman’s cycle. Drinking a cup of ginger tea and a small dash of honey may ease the symptoms.

4.    Alleviates Inflammation

benefits of ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory benefits for arthritis and osteoarthritis sufferers due to its powerful medicinal properties.   It has been widely used as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant spice.  Therefore, drinking ginger tea on a regular basis may help to alleviate inflammation, along with providing the health benefits of adding it to your overall diet.

5.    Improves Blood Circulation

Ginger may also help in lowering blood sugar levels, which in turn decreases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.  Ginger aids in restoring normal blood circulation and may also help to lower a person’s cholesterol level.

6.    Fights Against infection

ginger for colds

Ginger may assist in fighting infection because of the active compound gingerol in fresh ginger.  It may also fight against the risks of infection as it can inhibit against some bacteria.

7.    Strengthens Immunity

Ginger’s medicinal properties have been used for helping combat the common cold. It helps fight respiratory bacterial viruses, coughs and flu-type symptoms, keeping them at bay.  Ginger alsohas high levels of powerful antioxidants which may help improve the overall immune system and alleviate the common cold and other flu-like infections.

8.    Improves Brain Function

Fresh ginger may also help improve memory and cognitive abilities.  The antioxidant properties in ginger may protect and improve brain reaction speed and memory. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also help improve brain disorders including anxiety and depression and protect against brain ageing or brain fog issues.

9.    Helps Improve Digestion

Adding ginger for stomach and heartburn upsets may be effective in relieving those symptoms.

How to Use Ginger

Ginger can be used in a powder form or lightly grated into foods, mixed in teas and drinks where it can be more easily digested.

The ginger root is a very versatile vegetable and the benefits of ginger in your diet are impressive.  It can be bought fresh cut, grated or bought as ginger powder and added to many different dishes.  Stews, curries and teas will all have added flavour, along with all the health benefits of ginger.

GINGER TEA BENEFITS

Ginger Tea Benefits

Ginger has long been known and tried for its Ginger Tea Benefits

Ginger is a rhizome that is packed with powerful bacterial, anti-inflammatory benefits along with antioxidant properties.  Ginger can be eaten in so many different ways, with the ginger root itself raw, or as ground ginger powder for cooking, pickled ginger by itself, as a ginger shot or as ginger chews.  However, by simply adding ginger to your diet, you will reap the health benefits of ginger.

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THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

Mediterranean Diet

Updated March 2023

The Mediterranean Diet is recommended by doctors for good Health and Nutrition.

The great thing about the Mediterranean way of eating is that it’s not really a diet at all but a lifestyle way of eating great food.  

Historically, throughout the different countries along the Mediterranean coastal regions, people ate what was readily available in their gardens at the time.  They also grew many varieties of fruits and olive trees, as well as different farm animals like goats, pigs, chickens etc.  Grape vines and olive groves were grown there for many centuries; hence the wonderful quality wines produced, along with the fantastic abundance of olive oils.

The Mediterranean Way of Life was that of tending to animals, picking fruit, digging and planting different varieties of food crops in the various vegetable gardens. and sharing the produce with those around… with neighbours and at the local markets.  

Food was fresh, natural and healthy.  This way of life was based around food, fresh from the garden, prepared in the kitchen, then eaten… relaxing with family and friends around the table, enjoying and soaking up the lifestyle.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is mostly based on eating large amounts of plant-based foods, along with whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, seeds, legumes and flavoured with fresh herbs and spices.

Fish and seafood is recommended to be eaten at least twice a week, followed by poultry, eggs and dairy products, taken in moderate portions daily and weekly.

Red meats and sweets foods to be limited to weekly.

Eight cups of fresh water taken daily and red wine to be taken moderately.

The Omega-3 fatty acids in some of these foods are essential to your body’s health.  These fatty acids increase the good cholesterol HDL in the body.  The healthy fats in olive oil are great for heart health, as well as weight loss.

Spices are often used instead of using salt, which is much healthier.

Salmon is often a recommended food of choice for the health benefits.

Why Follow a Mediterranean Diet?

If you base your diet around the Mediterranean diet you will not only be eating healthy food packed full of great nutrition, but your healthy lifestyle will greatly improve your overall health and nutrition. Eating slowly and enjoying every morsel while relaxing is highly recommended for health and digestion.

It is also recommended that you buy fresh food, when it is in season and locally where possible.  Farmers markets are often great places to buy fresh vegetables and fruit, including herbs for your supply of healthy foods to maintain your healthy Mediterranean diet.

Many towns have set up community gardens where you can grow your own plants and share your produce with other gardeners. This is highly recommended for your own health and wellbeing. Otherwise, set up your own garden plot, get your children involved and grow your own vegies.  

Why not try adopting the Mediterranean Diet? The health benefits to you and your family will be profound.

Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Fitness and Nutrition

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ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS to sustain a healthy life

foods high in amino acids

An essential nutrient is one that fulfils the daily nutritional needs that support health

Essential nutrients such as amino acids foods and choline foods have a variety of particularly important essential vitamins for maintaining immune health and wellbeing. It’s all about nutrition value and daily nutrition needs. We all need nutrition foods high in the daily essential nutrients to provide the nutrition required for human body function.

The body relies on six essential nutrients

By knowing what nutrition benefits there are in foods, you can gain a better understanding of all the different food nutrients there are, especially the essential nutrients and various types of nutrition for maintaining a healthy diet.

WHAT ARE NUTRIENTS?

The six essential nutrients are Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals and Water.

WHY ARE NUTRIENTS IMPORTANT?

A healthy diet is all about good nutrition and taking in the essential nutrients in foods.

A person’s body is mostly unable to produce anything on its own. Therefore, to function normally, the body needs enough of the six main nutrients for sustainability. These six essential nutrients provide the dietary requirements the body needs for good health.

What nutrition foods do is supply the body with adequate nutrients to fuel energy, growth, and build immune health to support immune system function. They can provide an immune defence against disease.

Essential nutrients are the various substances… compounds or elements found within foods that, when eaten, can produce growth and development, sustain energy, while providing ongoing support to the immune system. These important food nutrients help develop a strong defence against disease.

You may wonder why you need to rely on an essential diet of healthy foods, rich in food nutrients, to function and maintain health. These essential nutrients strengthen the immune system, creating an immune defence system to sustain life itself, as well as ward off disease.

WHY DO WE NEED THESE ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS?

What benefit is there in having an essential diet rich in nutrients?    

There are 2 DIFFERENT TYPES OF NUTRIENTS

As there are a variety of different essential nutrients, these nutrients are separated into two distinct categories… essential micronutrients and essential macronutrients. These provide the foundational major nutrients the body needs to support health.

Micronutrients and Macronutrients  

The micronutrients and macronutrients are the main nutrients that provide and sustain health.       

Essential micronutrients are those nutrients the body needs to be consumed only in small quantities at a time. These essential food nutrients are the important Vitamins and Minerals that help support immune system function and help to ward off disease by building up your immune system defence.

Essential macronutrients need to be eaten in much larger quantities as they are the major nutrients that provide the building blocks to a healthy diet.

Examples of Nutrients

It’s important to know what nutrition and which nutrients are in these important essential macronutrients. These food nutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and the essential fats. These important essential nutrients maintain the body’s energy levels.

[picture and caption]…

The six essential nutrients make for a variety of healthy essential food choices, providing the necessary important vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats for maintaining healthy living.

6 ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF THESE FOOD NUTRIENTS?

Healthy foods are good sources of nutrients that the body needs for immune health.

The benefits of these six nutrients are:

  • Proteins help build strong bones for strength and endurance
  • Carbohydrates provide energy to sustain activity
  • Healthy Fats are essential for supporting cholesterol levels
  • Vitamins boost immunity due to their antioxidant benefits
  • Minerals are needed for immune system function
  • Water is essential for survival as up to 70% of body components consist of water

The key nutrients form part of essential diet foods that sustain a healthy body.


1       PROTEIN     

Protein in DAILY NUTRITION             

Proteins represent essential food nutrients for all cell tissues. Protein is one of the essential diet food elements that provides the important basic nutrients that will help sustain good health.

Protein food supports your daily nutrition needs. It is one of the daily essential nutrients that every healthy diet includes. Proteins are essential for building strong bones and strengthening muscles. It’s an important major nutrient the body requires for maintaining skin, hair, and cell growth.

PROTEIN FOR DAILY NUTRITION NEEDS          

There are a variety of amino acids foods such as fish, avocado etc. These provide particularly important nutrients and constitute a major source of nutrition. They are the essential nutrients for body function that support long term health.

Fish, meat, and eggs are all excellent amino acids foods as these contain one of the key nutrients to maintain growth, support health and provide for daily nutrition needs.


2       CARBOHYDRATES – DAILY NUTRITION FOODS

ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS TO FUEL THE BODY

Carbohydrates are one of the primary nutrients They are beneficial food nutrients that help fuel the body and support both brain function and the central nervous system, all the while protecting and strengthening immune defence against disease. Carbohydrate foods are excellent sources of nutrients that the body needs for daily nutrition.

Some nutritionists even suggest that carbohydrates are essential food and that about 45% – 65% of your daily calorie intake should come from eating carbohydrates.

HEALTHY CARBOHYDRATE FOODS       

Healthy carbohydrate foods are good sources of nutrients and include low carb foods.

Choose healthy options when looking for healthy carbohydrate foods. Look for fiber-rich foods, fruits, and vegetables (except potatoes), whole grain foods, quinoa, whole wheat breads, oats, rye, barley, as these all provide the major nutrients for supporting health.

Quinoa

3       HEALTHY FATS   

Healthy fats are nutrition rich foods.        

Carbohydrates foods are good daily nutrition foods.

Monounsaturated Fat            

Monounsaturated fat helps reduce heart disease. Monounsaturated fats help protect organs. They can also lower heart disease and cholesterol levels.

If you are looking to reduce your risk of heart disease, it’s important to reduce your intake of saturated fats to the healthier monounsaturated fat foods.

Avocado

To help maintain good levels of cholesterol, choose healthy fat food nutrients. Good examples of fats include extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, almonds as these benefit heart health and the immune system.

recipes for quinoa
cards in quinoa

Omega-3 Fats

Healthy omega-3 fats can be found in sardines, herring, and salmon.


4       VITAMINS

Vitamins help boost immunity       

A healthy diet relies on foods packed with essential vitamins and minerals, as they are the essential nutrients the body needs to support health. The best immune system booster foods include vitamins.

The body needs thirteen essential vitamins…

A well-balanced diet needs to include a variety of these thirteen essential vitamins.

These thirteen essential vitamins and all vitamins are essential for the body to function. Vitamins are vital nutrients that help ward off disease, keeping the immune system healthy and strong. Vitamin food nutrients have important antioxidant benefits.

There are two distinct types of vitamins…

WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS         

When the body ingests water soluble vitamins, it expels anything it does not absorb. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 and vitamin C are all important vitamins for the body that support the immune system.

FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS

Vitamins have important antioxidant benefits for supporting the immune system, overall health, and wellbeing.

The body only takes what it needs. Any leftovers are then stored within the liver and the tissue walls, keeping them in reserve.

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all important essential vitamins for body health and wellbeing.

Healthy sources of vitamins:       

Healthy sources of vitamins include fruits and vegetables including leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, red peppers, legumes, cabbage, beetroot, milk, cheese, yoghurt, lean meat, poultry, oily fish, and healthy nuts such as almonds and cashews in moderation, along with whole grain foods such as quinoa, oats, and barley.

Healthy Sources of Vitamins

5       MINERALS

As with vitamins, a healthy diet should include a variety of essential minerals to support a healthy immune system. They are both major nutrients as they enable the body to stay hydrated.

Minerals and vitamins are essential for our metabolic function. We mustn’t underestimate the importance of minerals in our body. Mineral packed foods provide essential nutrition for survival.

Mineral foods having calcium, zinc and iron contain especially important food nutrients for growing strong bones and teeth, along with helping to regulate blood pressure.

Zinc has antioxidant benefits that help strengthen immunity against disease. It helps maintain a strong immune defence, helping wounds and infections to heal faster.


6       WATER

WATER IS AN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT            

immune boosting foods
The body’s energy comes from staying hydrated and eating lots of nutrients in food.

Water is vital for life itself

Last but not least, water is a vital nutrient, essential for life itself. Without adequate water, dehydration can occur, and the body’s immune system could be at significant risk. Staying hydrated is important. You could go without food for a few days, but water is an essential nutrient, as it’s a critical contributor to overall immune health and staying immune from disease.

Water enables all the essential nutrients from fruits and vegetables to distribute throughout the body. The body is entirely dependent on regular supplies of vital nutrients through regularly eating different types of nutrition… foods rich in essential vitamins and foods with minerals. It is unable to store water for its future use.

It’s important to eat lots of fruits and vegetables because nutrients in foods distribute the essential vitamins and all the important essential minerals the body needs to function. Water helps lubricate the immune cells, avoiding dehydration and preventing constipation.


Fresh healthy fruits and vegetables are packed with water and different nutrients to meet our daily nutritional needs.

Essential Nutrients for Children

calorie

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FOOD AS MEDICINE

heart healthy foods

HOW DOES HEALTHY FOOD INFLUENCE THE BODY?

Have you ever thought of your food as medicine?

Eating nutritious foods directly affects your immune system

Chris Sheldon

Hippocrates

Nutritious food, with all its essential nutrients, builds a strong immune system. These essential nutrients, in a well-balanced diet of healthy food choices, can even support those who have a compromised immune system or weak immune system.  So, a healthy balanced diet may prevent and treat chronic diseases.

Hippocrates coined the phrase “Food as Medicine” in his renowned quote… “Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine thy Food” *

Paying close attention to what you eat, how and when you eat, can form the basis for your overall health and wellbeing.

Nutritional habits, or the lack thereof, may very well determine whether you may or may not have a lower chance of acquiring chronic diseases.

It’s a powerful thought.

Viewing food as medicine, as a preventative for treating chronic diseases, is a different paradigm from many people’s conventional way of thought and thinking.

Food is a powerful natural medicine that can not only prevent illnesses, heal, and nourish the body for peak performance… it may also be able to reverse or slow down some chronic diseases.

There are three different paradigms for thinking about nutritious food

1          Food is source of pleasure… savouring the flavours and textures of food

2          Food is fuel for the body… necessary to stave off hunger

3          Food is a means of keeping healthy. Nutritious food can be like medicine, keeping the body healthy.

Eating lots of healthy food is lifestyle medicine… based on a healthy diet.  Eating a healthy balanced diet not only nourishes the body but protects and prevents disease.

Food is a natural medicine to the body because nutritious food is high in the essential nutrients and vitamins that boost immune system function.  Herbal medicine is actually plant-based food that blurs the boundary between food and medicine.


10 RULES FOR TREATING FOOD AS MEDICINE

1          Consider plant-based food as medicine.

The Mediterranean diet is recommended by many health professionals as a healthy diet to follow as it constitutes a heart-healthy diet. This plant-based diet can greatly reduce the incidence of heart attacks and can even be seen as a heart disease prevention diet.

A Mediterranean diet is based on eating lots of whole natural healthy foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables, oily fish and extra virgin olive oil, with a small handful of nuts and wine – in moderation.  It encompasses many nutritious food choices and thus becomes natural medicine for the body.

The Mediterranean diet promotes healthy habits.  It’s not only an evidence-based, heart-healthy diet, but can greatly aid in disease prevention and ending chronic diseases.

2          EAT HEALTHY FOOD.

…rather than relying on dietary supplements

For many years people around the world have ignored the importance of eating natural plant-based healthy food in their diet and some have reached for supplements to support their overall health care.

The pharmaceutical industries are very heavily invested in selling supplements. But Natural Medicine treats food as medicine and avoids the need for dietary supplements.

A healthy diet is eating a variety of healthy food from all the food groups. By simply treating food as medicine, it should reduce the need for taking supplements. Where possible, seek out fresh food markets where fresh, healthy food is brought straight from the farm.  

Purchasing oily fish from the fish monger, whole grain breads from the market bakery, with grass fed meat and locally made cheese and yoghurts, plus eating lots of plant-based fruits and vegetables, makes for a healthy diet.  Therefore, purposely making healthy eating food choices can play an important role in disease prevention and, in particular, preventing heart disease.

Food is natural medicine and an alternative medicine for health care, as against relying on supplements to boost your immune system.  Plant-based oils from olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds and the fats from fish, mostly omega-3 fatty acids, provide important anti-inflammatory benefits.

Healthy fat foods help to support the immune system, due to their important essential nutrients and the essential minerals in foods.

Supplements should only be used as a back up to a good diet…. not as a replacement for eating healthy and nutritious food.  However, many health professionals will consider herbal medicine, taking a more holistic medicine approach.  This means recommending a balanced diet of nutritious food as medicine, to assist in a person’s health care.

By regularly eating fresh fruits and vegetables direct from local markets, you are not only supporting your local farms and food markets, but you are enhancing your own health care at the same time.

3          View healthy food as lifestyle medicine.

Natural medicine can not only heal and protect but prevent and treat many diseases brought on by having an unhealthy diet. The well-known saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” was coined because an apple is, when eaten with the skin on, a natural medicine with health benefits that support and strengthen the immune system.  

When looking for healthy foods to eat throughout the day, apples always make an excellent choice when it comes to healthy snacks. An apple is not only a nutritious healthy food to eat on a daily basis, but a good source of vitamins, carbs and is also full of soluble fiber and water.

Eating healthy food such as apples on a regular basis may play an important role in helping to lower the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol levels plus prevent the onset of stroke, heart disease and diabetes.  

Eat an apple a day

A balanced diet should always include fruits and vegetables, especially when it includes the humble apple as they will give a weak immune system a boost.

Read America’s Number 1 Best Selling Guide to Natural Remedies

4          EAT SLOWLY AND MINDFULLY

MAKE HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES

Mindful eating is paying close attention to what you eat, how and when you eat.  Specific foods can directly impact your health.  Healthy food fuels the body, giving it energy and sustainability, as well as helping to detoxify the body.

Eating a healthy diet supports the immune system and the nervous system, while aiding digestion and regulating blood pressure, helping it to function properly.

We all need to be more mindful of making healthy food choices.  It’s important not to choose the convenience of fast food, unhealthy breakfast cereals, high in salt, sugar, and highly processed foods.  We should choose heart-healthy foods.  Avoid processed foods and refined products as they often have high levels of salt, sugar, and other additives.

Replace processed foods with whole grain healthy foods such as wholemeal bread, quinoa, oats, and beans… to sustain you throughout the day.

5          AVOID EATING WHEN STRESSED

Try to avoid eating when stressed as stress can greatly impact the nervous system.

Increased stress levels put a strain on the digestive system, as well as affecting your mood swings, alertness, and energy levels. Therefore, avoid eating when stressed, especially highly processed foods as these foods compound your stress levels.

Seeing food as medicine enables you to make good food choices. Healthy food is natural medicine for the body.  Nutrient rich foods help the body heal and repair itself, improving health and wellbeing.

Eating a well-balanced diet (including healthy breakfast foods to start the day), followed by healthy snacks, including several servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, is a healthy eating plan for when feeling stressed.

Read how to Transform Your Diet

6          HEALTHY FOOD NOURISHES AND PROTECTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Nutritious food nourishes and protects the immune system. Research has shown that certain unhealthy dietary habits can adversely affect your health and you are more susceptible to chronic diseases.

The essential nutrients in healthy food give a protective layer at the same time as nourishing, supporting, and strengthening the body’s immune system, helping the body to function properly.  These supportive qualities are reasons to regard food as medicine.

Discover a research-based guide to healthy eating with easy-to-follow menu plans

7          HEALTHY FOOD IS LIFESTYLE MEDICINE

…for a Healthy Heart

Defend yourself against the possibility of acquiring some chronic diseases by recognising the importance of food and its effects on your health. Diet and health go hand in hand. Eating healthy foods gives the body a defence against the onset of disease.  Good eating is a lifestyle medicine choice.  Making good plant-based food choices may protect the body against many diseases.  Eating a variety of plant-based fruits and vegetables, rich in the essential nutrients and minerals in foods, increases antioxidant levels that help support the immune system.

Heart-healthy foods such as healthy fat foods like avocados, extra virgin olive oil, oily fish and almonds, cashews and walnuts are excellent healthy options for a more balanced diet for heart health.  Choosing a heart-healthy diet decreases the chances of heart attacks as it helps to lower cholesterol levels and inflammation associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Other important heart healthy foods include cocoa in dark chocolate in moderation) and whole grains such as quinoa, oatmeal, and brown rice.  Spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, broccoli, and red peppers are all rich in vitamins and minerals essential to support a healthy diet.

Many health professionals recommend following a more Mediterranean diet plan as it has all the elements of a healthy diet. It is also using food as medicine to sustain a life of health and wellbeing.

How does the Mediterranean diet benefit heart health?

The Mediterranean diet is regarded as a heart-healthy diet that is natural medicine that not only improves and supports the immune system, but possesses health benefits for longevity.

The Mediterranean diet is regularly eating a variety of healthy foods. It’s a healthy diet that is conducive to healthy eating habits that have been followed by those living around the Mediterranean region over many centuries.  Studies have shown that those who have long lived in the Mediterranean region and enjoyed its healthy food benefits, have experienced longevity, health and wellbeing, and enjoy a far lower risk of heart disease.

Therefore, it’s important to eat plenty of nutritious foods, along with healthy fat foods. It’s also essential to include whole natural grains, fish, nuts, lots of fruits and vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, olives, along with cheese and moderate amounts of wine.

A Mediterranean Diet

8          MAKE FOOD A LIFESTYLE MEDICINE CHOICE

Choose healthy foods as medicine, based around a balanced diet full of nutritious foods. Such foods include healthy fat foods, lots of plant-based, fiber rich foods and lots of fruits and vegetables. These are all seen as natural medicine that strengthens the immune system.

Making these healthy food choices should not be viewed as replacement or alternative medicine, but as supporting the immune system to nourish and protect.  

Regarding food as medicine is a way of seeing food as a support to medicine.  It is not an antidote to chronic disease but making good food choices to strengthen and support the immune system can help improve it.  Changing to being more conscious of following a more healthy diet, with lots of healthy food meals along with healthy snacks can improve your health dramatically… at the same time as protecting against disease.

9          WE ARE ALL UNIQUE

When a diet is deficient in the essential nutrients, vitamins D and C and many of the minerals in food, the risks of certain chronic diseases are heightened.  Supermarkets are often full of attractive highly processed foods, stripped of goodness and replaced with processed fats, sugar and salt.  These foods need to be avoided. A diet which is high in refined foods and/or high in sugary additives helps to contribute to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.

Because we are all unique, we all have our different requirements.  Some may have a genetic disposition to developing chronic disease, or require certain medication to overcome, stress, depression, or other conditions.  Temptations towards certain unhealthy foods such as processed foods, high sugar and high-fat foods place some people at a disadvantage.

The bottom line is to look after your own health care by eating lots of nutritious foods because they constitute natural medicine that boosts the immune system.

10        ADOPT A HOLISTIC MEDICINE APPROACH

Lifestyle changes to promote wellness

Seeing food as medicine can play an important role in improving, strengthening, and supporting the immune system, when you follow a healthy eating regime.

Viewing food as medicine means you have a natural medicine at your disposal, medicine that focusses on the whole person… the body, mind, spirit, and the emotions. Having a well-balanced diet, including lots of healthy fresh food, is a great starting point in looking after your own health care.

*Read more about Hippocrates’ “Food as Medicine” quote

A good starting point to achieving innate immunity is to regard food as medicine to strive for wellness of mind, body, and spirit.

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Health Benefits of Quinoa

recipes for quinoa

WHAT IS QUINOA?

Quinoa is, without doubt, one of the healthiest foods on the planet.  It is an ancient grain from the Andes mountains in South America.

Traditionally, quinoa was an important grain crop, grown extensively throughout the Peruvian Andes region for many centuries, as it was a staple healthy food for their indigenous people. Cooking quinoa was popular as it was very versatile food that could be cooked in many different ways.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is from the tall leafy Goosefoot flowering plant family, and is grown for its tiny nutrient-rich edible seeds. It’s for this reason that quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, which it how it is often referred to, because it’s not gathered from a cereal grass like wheat, rye or oats.

Quinoa is a complete food in itself and comes in many different colours, such as white, black, red, and yellow, supplied either separately or mixed.

Gluten free quinoa can be eaten on its own as a complete meal, or easily mixed with many other delicious foods.

 THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF QUINOA

1 QUINOA, A SUPERFOOD

Quinoa’s nutritional value has been well known over centuries and was grown widely as a healthy, sustainable food source that is now on the superfoods list.

Because Quinoa has a very high nutritional value, the health benefits of quinoa have become more recognised in recent years and quinoa dishes are growing rapidly in popularity. In fact, in the past 10 years, it has become hugely popular because of its versatility, not only in cooking but also as a replacement for gluten-based products.

Cooking quinoa is easy and there are so many different recipes for quinoa, as it’s very versatile and can be added to many regular dishes.

2 GLUTEN FREE QUINOA

Quinoa has recently been used as an alternative for wheat-based breads and pastas for those who are gluten intolerant.

Cooking quinoa makes the perfect food as an alternative to gluten, gluten-free products or refined foods such as breads and pastas which can cause so many health issues for those who have intolerances to wheat products.

The benefits of quinoa are that it can be a replacement to wheat for gluten-intolerant people.

Gluten-free quinoa is a natural whole food that’s not only rich in plant fibre and protein but hasn’t been altered in anyway.  Cooking quinoa brings out the full health benefits of quinoa, without any of the side effects of other gluten or gluten-free products.

More and more people are looking for healthy options to wheat-based foods and gluten free quinoa is the complete healthy food alternative.

3 QUINOA NUTRITION

Quinoa is packed with nutrition, with all of the nine essential amino acids which the body transforms into protein. Your body needs to be fed these essential amino acids, through a healthy diet, as it cannot produce protein by itself.

This is where quinoa nutrition is so important if you wish to maintain a healthy diet. Gluten free quinoa is packed with essential rich nutrients such as fiber, iron, vitamins A and B, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, for premium health. It is a delicious alternative to rice and pasta.

Cooking quinoa is a quick and easy way to add lots of quinoa nutrition to your diet if your body is needing a boost.

Quinoa can be added, not only to salad dishes in summer but to good winter warming soups and all-in-one vegetable pot dishes can easily include quinoa for a nutrient boost during colder months.  Eating quinoa not only helps increase a feeling of fullness but strengthens bone health, along with reducing blood sugar levels.

4 QUINOA PROTEIN HEALTHY BENEFITS

Quinoa is a powerhouse of protein because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids the body requires for optimum health and nutrition. It’s for this reason when you have a rich balanced diet with a good variety of other beneficial plant-based proteins, you have a complete quinoa protein meal.

This perfect quinoa seed is one of the best superfoods to include for all-round good health.

The benefits of quinoa are immense because it’s a complete protein food and can be added to so many other dishes very easily. The simple quinoa seed is seen as the perfect quinoa wellness food of the future.

Quinoa is a protein packed food and a very versatile dish for alternatives for rice, pasta etc.

Quinoa is one of the best superfoods to eat because it’s a complete protein food and is paired with other beneficial plant-based proteins.

5 QUINOA IS A VEGAN SUPER BOWL FOOD

Vegans enjoy quinoa as it’s a complete plant-based food, known as the vegan super bowl food, packed with all the essential amino acids the body needs.

The benefits of quinoa for vegans are that it’s a quinoa protein replacement for meat and other foods. Quinoa provides all the nutrients and nutrition vegans need for a healthy feeling of fullness. It can be eaten on its own or mixed with any other meal during the day.

6 QUINOA IS A HIGH FIBER FOOD

Fiber is necessary for good health. — inadequate fiber in your diet can lead to disease issues.

Good gut health relies on adequate different fibers to aid the digestive system.

The benefits of quinoa are that it’s the perfect replacement for pasta, breads, and rice-based foods.  The carbs in quinoa are very beneficial to your health.

Quinoa is one of the important carb-based fibre foods that help feed good gut bacteria that strengthen the immune system, keeping the body healthy.  The simple quinoa seed is not only high in fibre compared to other grains but helps promote good gut health which avoids many chronic diseases.

7 CARBS IN QUINOA

Cooking quinoa will provide a good source of carbohydrates.  The carbs in quinoa have a relatively low Gi value ranking.  Therefore, quinoa is likely to be digested more slowly and absorbed, giving a far slower rise in blood sugars and insulin levels than some other foods.

The low Gi rating is important because the carbs in quinoa gives the body that fuller feeling for a far longer period of time and this helps in controlling your appetite. Controlling your appetite is a major key benefit leading to longevity and good health.

8 COOKING QUINOA

COOKING QUINOA IS EASY.

The correct Quinoa-to-Water ratio

When cooking the perfect quinoa dish, it’s always best to pre-rinse the quinoa seeds in cold water to remove any saponins that may give a bitter taste. The most popular quinoa cooking ratio is 1 to 3… the quinoa is prepared, like rice, in a one-to-three ratio.  The quinoa to water ratio is normally 1 cup of dry quinoa to 3 cups of water, depending on how dry or wet you want your quinoa to be.  

HOW TO COOK THE PERFECT QUINOA

For the perfect quinoa, add the rinsed seeds to a saucepan with the required water and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce heat so the quinoa stays simmering for about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring while liquid reduces. The perfect quinoa should be light and fluffy, wet, or dry depending on how you like it. When cooked, stir with a fork, allow to cool, or simply add the quinoa to another dish.

When cooking quinoa, you can use water or stock, plus any number of your favourite herbs or spices, as well as garlic or onions for a delicious flavour.

Quinoa is so versatile… it can be eaten with breakfast cereals, added on top of a bowl of diced fruit salad, or added to soups, stews, salads or a simple quinoa dish can be eaten on its own.

9 QUINOA GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS.

Is quinoa good for weight loss?

Well, every healthy food needs to be eaten in moderation. Quinoa is similar to rice.  Quinoa, eaten in small amounts, mixed with healthy salads, topped with a delicious piece of salmon, will make for a very healthy main meal.

A small portion of quinoa for your daily dose of carbs, protein and fiber mixed with a small portion of healthy green leafy vegetables would help give you a feeling of fullness with all the health benefits of quinoa.

Why is quinoa good for weight loss?

It’s because quinoa has a low carbohydrate GI value, therefore not only giving you that fullness feeling, but quinoa is more gradually absorbed and digested into the blood stream, providing less of a rise in blood sugar levels.

herefore, quinoa is viewed as a better food of choice for weight loss than other foods that may have a high GI value It’s always wise to check food labels and choose foods that have a lower GI level for weight loss.

RECIPES FOR QUINOA

There are many recipes for quinoa, however simply by adding quinoa to your regular dishes such as soups or stews, you will delight in the health benefits of quinoa.

1 ROASTED DICED VEGIE QUINOA DISH.

Roast diced red capsicum, sweet potato, carrots, parsnip, onion, and garlic for 30 mins til cooked and serve with a portion of cooked quinoa with salt and pepper to taste.

2 KALE, BEET AND EGG QUINOA DISH.

Cook kale, beetroot, and eggs separately and add to diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, diced carrots.  Toss together in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool and add to a generous amount of quinoa. Top dish a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a few walnuts, cashews, or pine nuts.

3 CHICKEN VEGIE SOUP WITH QUINOA.

Cook pieces of chicken, thighs or breast pieces, in a pot  Add salt, pepper, onion and garlic and slowly cook until tender.  Add 1 cup of rinsed quinoa and stir for about 5 to 8 minutes, then add diced carrot, red capsicums, corn, zucchini and 1 tin of diced tomatoes, plus any other vegetables you may have on hand. Cook while stirring quinoa for about another 5 minutes or until cooked. Gently break up chicken with a fork and serve soup hot with a topping of grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy all the health benefits of quinoa nutrition!

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