NUTRITION TIPS @ DIET ADVICE @ FOOD FACTS
NOSH FOR NERVES
While keeping fit and healthy means we’re all living longer, neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s are expected to reach a shocking 42 million cases worldwide in 2020. Fortunately, the humble mushroom, which contains bioactive compounds not found in plants, has been shown to have protective benefits, according to a report in The Journal of Medicinal Food. Alzheimer’s is linked to, among other things, inhibited nerve cell growth, and it seems that by reducing inflammation, certain edible and medicinal mushrooms have the potential to promote nerve cell growth and improve brain function. Who’s for mushroom soup?
‘I try to eat half. If you take a break for 10 minutes and drink some water, for you’re full. And if you’re still hungry, fine, keep eating.But you’re not going to be.’Actress Kaley Cuoco
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SPICE UP I YOUR LIFE
Time to add more spice to your foods? Chillies have been linked with pain relief and a damping down of inflammation – but now experts reckon they could help you live longer too. A study published in PLOS ONE delved into data from the American National Health şand Nutrition Examination Survey (a dietary and lifestyle survey following 16,000 Americans for up to 23 years). Compared to people who never consumed spice, Ithe chilli chompers were found to have a 13 per cent lower risk of dying from any cause. Capsaicin in chilli is thought to benefit gut e bacteria, and help prevent obesity and modulate blood flow, which could explain it.
GROW YOUR GREENS
Microgreens are more than just a fancy garnish – a new study by scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland, found that red cabbage microgreens were higher in polyphenols and glucosinolates (compounds that can lower cholesterol) than matured red cabbage leaves. Mice fed the tiny vegetables alongside a high-fat diet showed much lower levels of &bad’ LDL cholesterol that can contribute to heart attacks and strokes. Grow Your own microgreens on a sunny windowsill. Read The Speedy Vegetable Garden by Mark Diacono and Lia Leendertz (Timber Press, £14.99) for tips.
HOW TO BEAT PMS
Naturopath Gemma Hurditch For CNM: ‘Eat 2 tbsps of ground flax seeds a day, sprinkled on meals or in smoothies. The fiber and essential fats provided help your liver metabolize excess hormones, which can lead to PMS symptoms. Eat a mostly plant-based, organic diet with loads of greens for more benefits, avoiding non-natural products and packaged foods as they can play havoc with hormones.’CNM trains students for careers in natural therapies; naturopathy-uk.com.
NEW OATY BREKKIE
Don’t fancy porridge every single day?Beta Betavivo is a crispy oat cereal with beta-glucan – the active oat ingredient that controls blood sugar levels and lowers your blood cholesterol – in a small sachet containing only 77 calories. Sprinkle on yoghurt, blend into a smoothie or serve with your normal cereal and add milk, for a healthy start to the day. One sachet has less than 2g of sugar but 5.8g fibre – more than in two slices of wholemeal toast. It costs £14.99 for 15 sachets; boots.com.