Preparing to hunker down for the cooler months? Feeling gloomy about the end of summer? Stop right there! If Susan’s last post on Vitamin D and dementia didn’t get you up and out, then tune in to this week’s BBC Horizon programme (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04g507y/horizon-20142015-5-allergies-modern-life-and-me) on the explosion of allergies in the developed world. Horizon covered not only the role of eating a wide range of fruit and veg to up your intake of prebiotics but also the importance of getting your family outside – in order to reconnect with microbiota (sun or no sun). Today, almost a third of the Western population have allergies and the link between allergies and poor gut bacteria now seems irrefutable, with mounting evidence that the same lack of microbiota could also be responsible for the rise in inflammatory disease. The blackberries are fantastic this year, so get out and combine foraging for nutrient-rich berries with upping your gut bacteria, increasing your vitamin D, and getting some exercise.
Need another reason to exercise? Recent research from Cambridge University found exercise to be the most significant protector against dementia, with just one hour a week reducing the chance of getting Alzheimer’s by half. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10964854/One-hour-of-exercise-a-week-can-halve-dementia-risk.html). And breaking news today shows walking can cut your risk of a cancerous death by 50% (Read more here … http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2737274/Walking-mile-day-cuts-cancer-death-risk-half-Physical-activity-described-wonder-drug-breast-prostate-patients.html).
If you haven’t got as much sun as you’d like this summer, panic not. You can still achieve a healthy glow – from eating the right vegetables. This week, researchers found that women who achieved their healthy glow from eating bright fruit and veg were considered more attractive than women with suntans. So for those of you who’ve been holed up in offices all summer, keep eating carotenoid-rich vegetables (the best include sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, spinach and broccoli) …. And no sun-induced wrinkles to fret about either. Read more here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/11059831/Healthy-glow-from-vegetables-is-more-attractive-than-a-tan-scientists-find.html
I’m cooked out after several weeks of churning out three meals a day for my children and their friends, so today I’m sharing my favourite, five-minute, store-cupboard recipe (less time cooking means more time outside!), but before I do, here are some thoughts from the emeritus professor of biochemistry at Liverpool John Moores University, following 15 years of study into how to stay slim and healthy. Too busy to read the whole article? Eat your bananas green, bake your potatoes, add water when you fry and don’t fry with olive oil, beware of tofu and smoothies, drink more water, worry less about saturated fat…http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2692057/Dont-eat-mash-dont-cook-olive-oil-DO-eat-unripe-bananas-Think-know-rules-healthy-eating-A-scientist-lots-surprises.html
PEA AND SOYBEAN SALAD WITH PEPPERS, SUN-DRIED TOMATOES AND MINT
I always have peas and soybeans in my freezer and jars of red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes (rich in lycopene) in my store cupboard for those nights when there’s nothing in the fridge and I only want to spend ten minutes in the kitchen (I know there’s debate about soy but it’s about processed soy not the whole soybean which is rich in fibre, calcium, magnesium, iron and protein). You can throw any herbs (or none) into this dish. I often serve this salad, still warm, with a small piece of wild salmon (which I also keep in my freezer at all times) or a hard-boiled egg – and some watercress or baby spinach.
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen soybeans ( frozen baby broad beans work too)
- 4 sun-dried tomatoes, snipped into slithers
- 1 pepper from a jar (or deli counter), snipped into slices
- Chopped herbs, spring onions etc if you have to hand.
Cook the peas and soybeans for 3 minutes, toss in the snipped peppers and tomatoes and chopped herbs. Drizzle over olive or avocado oil and lemon juice (one part lemon juice to three parts oil with the zest too) or your preferred dressing.