Monthly Archives: May 2017

Cooked or Raw Vegies. What’s the go?

This has been quite a contentious issue for some time, and to be honest after weighing up all the evidence I could find, I’m going to have to sit on the fence and say both raw and cooked vegies should have their place in our diet. However if I had to lean more to one side I’d say it’s best to include more raw vegies than cooked…..Have I totally confused you? I’m just a raw foodie at heart I guess. I love the concept of going back to basics and keeping it simple.

So here’s why a mix of both is the way to go. Some vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms become more nutritious once they’re cooked. Tomatoes for instance have a 25% increase in lycopene, a compound that  reduces the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers when cooked, while the antioxidant value of a carrot (carotenoids) increases over 30% when they are cooked. On the other hand foods such as peppers and broccoli that are naturally high in vitamin C lose some of this impact once cooked. Foods such as bokchoy and cabbage may have their disease fighting properties and natural enzymes destroyed in the cooking process so are best eaten raw.

It’s no secret that many people are falling short when it comes to daily intake of vegetables. If you can relate there’s a few simple ways to boost your intake of vegetables. Souping is considered the new juicing with the added benefit of not sacrificing fibre. Salads are a great option all year round and you can’t go wrong with a stirfrycarrots-155714__340 For an easy snack grab a dip and eat it with chopped up vegetable sticks and you could always go the vegetable kebab as a great addition to an evening meal.

So the take home message here is to eat more vegetables. Think about your health goals as to what your ratio of raw to cooked vegetables will be and educate yourself on what vegetables are best eaten raw or cooked for the maximum results.

 

Tree Therapy

I love learning about new health practices. It would be true to say it’s my passion. When I stumble across things you can do for free I get even more excited. I always knew that I  felt better when walking in park land and other bushy areas, but I never really thought about why until recently. I came across an article about Forest Bathing, a health practice that originated in Japan and I immediately felt compelled to read about it.

It’s been scientifically proven that spending time amongst trees is very beneficial to health. Did you know that the oils trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects called phytoncides actually help our immune system? What a revelation and very valuable information given it’s getting a lot colder where I live. This information will give me an incentive to head outdoors when I otherwise would choose to stay inside and hibernate in winter. I might even combine it with some earthing i.e. removing my shoes and socks and walk around barefoot. Apparently the pores in your feet can absorb antioxidants through the soil. Another added benefit is that I could soak up some some of the suns rays through my skin to produce some immune boosting vitamin D. That’s multiple health benefits for a small investment of time and energy. I’ve even seen people tree hugging when I’ve been out walking and wondered what the benefits were. Ok so you don’t have to go as far as tree hugging if you don’t want to, but just have to immerse yourself in the presence of trees to get the benefits.

Some of the other benefits include a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure, increased energy, improved mood and a reduction in stress hormones.

So why not do yourself a favour and get out amongst the trees? What could be better than breathing in some fresh air while generating some great health benefits for yourself? allgau-63427__340 tree