gut health

Bananas

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You'll never look at bananas the same way again after discovering the health benefits and reasons to add them to your diet! Did you know Bananas can help to combat depression, relieve morning sickness, protect against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and blindness. Plus they can even cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes. Bet you didn’t know that!!

Facts your probably didn’t know about bananas….

  1. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin -- the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.

  2. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by simply eating a banana, this regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.

  3. Bananas can act as a prebiotic, helping to stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria your bowel. Plus they also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.

  4. Bananas can make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. TIP: Eat a banana before an exam to boost your level of potassium.

  5. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day. Perfect for Summer!

  6. Last but not least, bananas are the ultimate snack for on the go plus super affordable! They always readily available and can be used for smoothies, fruit salads and baking!

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3 ingredient Protein Banana Pancakes

INGREDIENTS
- 1 banana
- 2 eggs
- 1 scoop of protein powder

METHOD
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Lightly spray a medium non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over medium heat. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into pan and spread out evenly. Repeat with remaining batter. Cook for 1–2 minutes or until golden. Serve with fresh berries and greek yogurt.

Chia Seeds

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Chia Seeds provide a wide variety of nutrients and are an excellent source of plant protein. In addition they are also high in magnesium, calcium, omega 3, linoleic acid, fibre and antioxidants. Because of this combination of nutrients, chia seeds are highly beneficial for the skin, bones, hair and digestive system. And did you know that they have been found to boost the metabolism and energy levels. Plus the high levels of fibre in chia seeds act as a prebiotic, meaning they feed the good bacteria in the gut. I could go on all day about how amazing chia seeds are but instead I thought it would be handy to give you a few tips on how to include them into your diet and of course a delicious recipe!

 

Chia Tips

  • Add them to your smoothie - next time you are making a smoothie, add in some chia seeds into the mix. By adding chia seeds will simply bump up the nutritional value of your smoothie!

  • Add Chia Seeds To Pancakes, Cakes, Muffins & Other Baked Goods - While you shouldn’t eat baked goods every day, there is a place for them in a healthy diet. You just need to know how to "healthify" your recipes. Toss in a spoonful of chia seeds for extra nutrients. Just simply add the chia seeds to your batter and bake as normal.  

  • Use Chia Seeds as An Egg Replacement - If you avoid eggs in your diet because you are allergic to them or simply don’t like them then baking anything from pancakes to birthday cakes can become very difficult. Here is where Chia seeds come into play! As a general rule of thumb, 1 egg is equivalent to soaking 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 3 tablespoons of water.

  • Use as a topping - Sprinkle them on top of smoothie bowls, Greek yogurt or your morning bowl of oatmeal. You can also sprinkle them on top of a salad to enhance the nutritional value and offer a nice crunch!

Chia Seed Pudding - 3 Ways

Chia Puddings are not only easy to make but an incredible nourishing breakfast. With the recipes below, if you are wanting to add a little more protein add a scoop of your protein powder of choice!  

Cheeky Monkey Chia Pudding (Serves 2)

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1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
1 tablespoon organic maple syrup or raw honey (you may want more depending on how sweet you want it)
1 thinly sliced banana
Optional toppings: Goji berries, nuts, coconut

PB & J Chia Pudding (Serves 2)

1 ¼  cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
¼  cup chia seeds
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons of organic jam (watch out for hidden added sugar!)
Optional toppings: Fresh berries, walnuts, unsalted peanuts

Vanilla Chia Pudding (Serves 2)

1 ¼  cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
¼  cup chia seeds
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon organic maple syrup or raw honey (you may want more depending on how sweet you want it)
Optional toppings: berries, figs, almonds

METHOD
Add all of the ingredients to either 1 large glass jar or two small jars with a lid, give it a quick stir, then put the lid on. Give it a good shake to mix all the ingredients up! Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, shaking or stirring occasionally. Serve the pudding chilled with your favourite toppings. ENJOY!!

Let's Reset

Do you feel like your body’s natural systems are a little off balance? Whether it’s from stress, too much caffeine, or diet irregularities. The good news is, there are simple changes you can make to reset your body and get it back to 100% so you can feel amazing.

Regardless of how healthy you eat and how much exercise you get in, there are ways we need to reset mentally and emotionally to help optimize our health. It can be really frustrating if you feel sluggish and tired even if you’re following a healthy lifestyle, so here are some helpful tips to help you reset your body!
 

Tip 1: Drink enough water!

Yes I know this is an obvious tip but dehydration can sneak up on you in the most inconspicuous ways! Even when we don’t sweat as much like in the summer, our bodies still need water. Aim to drink 3 Litres of water a day. Try starting your day with hot water and lemon, this will help fire up your digestion and detoxification process.

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Tip 2: Increase your intake of
anti-inflammatory foods!

Eat more natural, unrefined foods that won’t inflame your gut. They also support everything from a balanced micro-biome and strong bones to helping fight cancer.  Anti-inflammatory foods include tomatoes, green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach etc.), nuts (almonds and walnuts), fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna..) and fruit (strawberries, blueberries..).
 

Tip 3: Limit your coffee intake

Too much coffee can lead to the jitters, poor sleep, and a roller coaster in your energy. Yes, coffee has some great health benefits too, but just like anything when consumed too much it may cause an increase in stress hormones and poor sleep. If you need a pick me up in the afternoon, try a cup of herbal tea, or even a brisk walk outside.

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Tip 4: De-Stress

Do something that de-stresses you every day like going for a walk, taking a yoga class, setting aside time to meditate, listen to music, cook, call or catch up with your loved ones etc. Resetting isn’t just about the physical, it’s mental/emotional and so important we take time to prioritise what makes us joyful and happy at the end of the day!
 

 

 

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric White Fish (Serves 2)

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INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp grated fresh or dried ginger
1 tbsp fresh or dried turmeric, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of ground black pepper
2 x 200g white fish fillets
1 lime
1 bunch coriander – leaves and stalk
1/4 cup coconut water or water

METHOD
1. Combine ginger, turmeric, garlic, tamari, lime juice and olive oil into a bowl.
2. Fold in the finely chopped coriander root.
3. Spoon paste over the fish fillet and massage well on both sides.
4. Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the fish fillet.
5. Pour in 1/4 cup of water or coconut water then place on the lid and reduce the heat.
6. Braise on a low to medium heat for eight minutes
7. Serve with your choice of salad or vegetables & Enjoy!

Lets talk about FIBER..

As people are becoming more and more fixated on finding the perfect diet to help with lose fat or gain muscle people are overlooking the hire component of fat lose, FIBER!

Fiber, often referred to as roughage or bulk, is a component indigestible part of the plant based foods that pushes through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements.

There are three different types of fibre which all have different functions and health benefits.

 

 Soluble fiber helps to slow the emptying process in our stomachs, which helps us feel fuller for longer! Foods rich in this type of fiber include oatmeal, nuts, beans, apples, and blueberries

 

 

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Insoluble fiber absorbs water to help soften the contents of our bowels and supports regular bowel movements. This is found in the seeds and skins of fruit (so always eat your peels) as well as whole-wheat bread and brown rice.

 

 

 

 Resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine and instead proceeds to the largeintestine where it assists the production of good bacteria and improves bowel health! Foods rich in this type include bananas, potatoes and cashews.

 

 

 

 Fiber is hugely important for gut health and the absorption of nutrients, therefore aiding digestion as it bulks up food in the digestive tract which makes your feel fuller for longer!

The minimum fibre intake should be no less that 20g for females and 25g for males but no more the 40g for females and 50-60g for males. But with most things too much of anything can be bad for you! If you fibre intake is too high is can reflect badly on you gut health and nutrient absorption. You need to focus on finding that SWEET SPOT!

 

Here are my TOP TIPS FIBRE TIPS!

1.     Eat Breakfast. Breakfast is a great place to start adding fibre.

2.     Add seeds. All kinds of seeds are high in fibre so aim to add 2 tablespoons of seeds into your diet each day!

3.     Eat more beans!! Lentils and beans are very high in fibre, especially soluble fibre. Try to have beans at least 3 or 4 times a week.

4.     Add Vegetables. As a good rule of thumb, salad or vegetables should make up 1/3 of your lunch and 1/3 of your dinner. Short on time? Frozen veggies are just as good!

5.     Eat Fruit. A piece of fruits will give you over 2g of fiber!! So aim to have 2-3 pieces of fruit everyday! Try slicing banana for brekky, adding apple to your salad and enjoying an orange a snack.

6.     Snack on nuts and dried fruit. Snacks like mixed nuts and raisins are high in fiber and make a great alternative to crisp and sugary snacks! All you need is a handful to help boost your intake

7.     Drink water.

** Remember it is normal to feel some bloating and to pass a little more wind when you first start to add in more fibre. This will settle down in a week or two.