Popcorn? Yes it’s true, it’s not only delicious but also good for you.
A serving of popcorn a day has more antioxidants than fruit and vegetables. I’m not referring to the sugar-coated or buttery types, just the plain popcorn. Popcorn contains fibre and is the only snack that is 100% whole grain. It’s a great option to serve as a snack to children as healthy and fun to eat!
Some quick health benefits of Popcorn;
- Low in fat, high in fibre
- Rich in complex carbohydrates
- Its antioxidants can help protect against cancers, heart diseases, and other illnesses that are caused by free radicals (cells that attack other healthy ones).
If you can’t eat popcorn plain there are some healthy topping options. Link below to topping ideas.
- Nutritional Yeast
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
Apparently an apple a day does keep the doctor away!
It seems our parents were right. Apples have many health benefits but they need to be eaten as a whole food, with the skin, which gives the most benefits. Apples can help fight cancers, help with weight management, are good for our hearts and our endurance.
Health Benefits of Apples
- The apple peel has compounds that have shown to the slow the growth of cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Apples can also help to prevent mouth, oesophagus, lung and stomach cancers.
- When apples are eaten whole they can lower blood fats and prevent changes in your blood sugar.
- The fibre in apples can slow down the build up of cholesterol-rich plaque in our arteries.
- Red apples can help boost your endurance during workouts by making oxygen more available to our lungs.
What an amazing fruit! and thankfully delicious.
According to Dr Vicky Flory, there are seven key emotional needs that all children have regardless of their age or cultural background:
- to have a secure relationship with a parent or other caregiver
- to receive help with managing their emotions
- to receive emotional support, particularly when they are experiencing difficulties
- to have a sense of belonging
- to feel loved
- to feel accepted and approved of
- to have clear expectations, routines, and boundaries.
Read more at the link below;
My son has just discovered Lego duplo and he is loving it. The concentration on his face is adorable as he tries to build all sorts of things. I decided to google some information on the benefits of Lego & it’s impact on his development.
Lego can help aid your child’s creativity & brain development, and it’s also lots of fun! I have included some links below on advantages of playing with Lego or blocks, and how they encourage children’s imaginations.
‘Whenever you think a thought unfamiliar to you, YOU are being creative. Creativity is the ability to generate ideas and artefacts that are new, surprising and valuable. When children make things (build and create), when they make things up (imagine and fantasise) and when they play make believe (doing ‘as if’ and pretending) they harness curiosity and playfulness into three different kinds of creativity: combination, exploration and transformation.’ http://learninginstitute.lego.com/en-us/research/systematic-creativity/
Superfoods are a hot topic in nutrition, so what exactly are they?
Well according to Dr. Steven Pratt, author of New York Times bestseller ‘Superfoods RX’, the below 14 superfoods have incredible health benefits that can help protect against illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
- Beans – help reduce obesity
- Blueberries – lower the risk for cardiovascular disease
- Broccoli – fights birth defects
- Oats – reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Oranges – help prevent strokes
- Pumpkin – lowers the risk of various cancers
- Wild Salmon – lessens the risk of heart disease
- Soy – lowers cholesterol
- Spinach – decreases the chance of cardiovascular disease
- Tea – helps to prevent osteoporosis
- Tomatoes – raise the skins sun protection factor
- Turkey – helps build a strong immune system
- Walnuts – reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer
- Yoghurt – promotes strong bones and a healthy heart
Dr Pratt’s superfood diet is based on the four following principles;
1. The most known beneficial nutrients with the least negative properties,
2. Superfoods are whole foods,
3. Food synergy, nutrients working together,
4. Simple and positive, eating a healthy diet of superfoods allows room for other foods that give you pleasure, such as chocolate.
I found this book very interesting and it includes many great superfood recipes. I am definitely going to try to incorporate these foods into our family meals. If you would like to find out more click on the link below.
I’m now 31 weeks pregnant and still have very low levels of vitamin D in my body. I have doubled my dose of supplements but thought it might help to investigate what other foods I could eat more of to boost my levels. The link below has the top 10 foods highest in vitamin D. Perhaps some of you are in the same situation?
- Cod liver oil
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified Soy Products
- Salami, Ham, and Sausages
- Fortified Dairy Products
unfortunately some are not suitable for pregnant women. Guess I will just bulk up on the dairy, soy and eggs!
Do you cut the crust off your or your children’s sandwiches? I admit it, I cut the crust off bread for my son as otherwise he just eats around it. But perhaps I shouldnt be doing this and should encourage him every time to eat the crust. I recall growing up always being told to eat the crust because its good for me. I just thought that was something adults said up until now!
Apparently crust is good for you and packed with antioxidants. The antioxidants were found eight times more plentiful in the bread crust than the rest of the bread.
Check out the below article to find out further details from their research. This link has many interesting articles on old wives tales related to health. Check it out.
Lentils are yummy and so versatile. Can be added to stews, soups, salads and lots more. Leroy is really enjoying them at the moment which is great as I know he’s getting lots of goodness from them!
Here are a few health benefits from eating lentils; more information can be found at the links below.
• protect the heart
• regulate blood sugar levels
• slow energy release
• protein packed
• great source of vitamin B
• loaded with iron
Recipe for vegetable & lentil curry
How much do you know about Pineapple?
An article in the January edition of Health works opened my eyes to what an amazing fruit pineapple is with all of its health benefits. The 3 main benefits outlined in the article were;
- The fruit contains tryptophan which triggers the release of serotonin.
- Contains Bromelain, an enzyme with digestive and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Packed with vitamins and 16 minerals.
Pineapples are generally available all year round with the best value being from November to February. Pineapple recipes can be found at the below link from Australian Pineapples.