Top 10 Foods with High Levels of Antioxidants

Top 10 Foods with High Levels of Antioxidants

As many of you know by now I’m pretty interested in Antioxidants and the whole realtionship between diet and health. Please check out this inforgraphic and start adding to your meals today!

Top 10 Foods with High Levels of Antioxidants

From Visually.

10 Essential Vitamins and why you need to have them in your diet!

10 Essential Vitamins and why you need to have them in your diet!

While the infographic is for travelers but it does apply to all of us.

10 Essential Vitamins for Frequent Travelers

From Visually.

Iron Deficiency Anemia – Infographic

Some of you may remember that a few years back we covered the area of iron deficiency in some detail. I even put together a recipe for an iron rich pesto which was (and is) actually edible.

So I was very please to locate this excellent infographic which gives a great overview of iron deficiency anemia. Or Iron deficiency anaemia as we call it in the UK!


Iron Deficiency Anemia - Infographic

Source: Medindia

Iron deficiency anaemia is a condition where a lack of iron in the body leads to a reduction in the number of red blood cells.

Iron is used to produce red blood cells, which help store and carry oxygen in the blood. If you have fewer red blood cells than is normal, your organs and tissues won’t get as much oxygen as they usually would.

There are several different types of anaemia, and each one has a different cause. Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common type.

Other types of anaemia can be caused by a lack of vitamin B12 or folate in the body – read more about vitamin B12 and folate deficiency anaemia.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia

Many people with iron deficiency anaemia only have a few symptoms. The severity of the symptoms largely depends on how quickly anaemia develops.

You may notice symptoms immediately, or they may develop gradually if your anaemia is caused by a long-term problem, such as a stomach ulcer.

The most common symptoms include:

tiredness and lack of energy (lethargy)

shortness of breath

noticeable heartbeats (heart palpitations)

a pale complexion

Less common symptoms include:

headache

hearing sounds that come from inside the body, rather than from an outside source (tinnitus)

an altered sense of taste

feeling itchy

a sore or abnormally smooth tongue

hair loss

a desire to eat non-food items, such as ice, paper or clay (pica)

difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)

painful open sores (ulcers) on the corners of your mouth

spoon-shaped nails

When to see your GP

See your GP if you experience symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia. They should be able to diagnose the condition using a simple blood test.

Read more about diagnosing iron deficiency anaemia.

What causes iron deficiency anaemia?

There are many things that can lead to a lack of iron in the body. In men and post-menopausal women, the most common cause is bleeding in the stomach and intestines.

In women of reproductive age, heavy periods and pregnancy are the most common causes of iron deficiency anaemia as your body needs extra iron for your baby during pregnancy.

Unless you’re pregnant, it’s rare for iron deficiency anaemia to be caused just by a lack of iron in your diet. However, if you do lack dietary iron, it may mean you’re more likely to develop anaemia than if you have one of the problems mentioned above.

Read more about the causes of iron deficiency anaemia.

How iron deficiency anaemia is treated

Treatment for iron deficiency anaemia involves taking iron supplements to boost the low levels of iron in your body. This is usually effective, and the condition rarely causes long-term problems.

You’ll need to be monitored every few months to check the treatment is working and your iron levels have returned to normal.

The underlying cause will need to be treated so you don’t get anaemia again. Increasing the amount of iron in your diet may also be recommended.

Good sources of iron include:

dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress and curly kale

iron-fortified cereals or bread

brown rice

pulses and beans

nuts and seeds

meat, fish and tofu

eggs

dried fruit, such as dried apricots, prunes and raisins

Read more about treating iron deficiency anaemia.

Further problems

If iron deficiency anaemia is left untreated, it can make you more susceptible to illness and infection, as a lack of iron affects the body’s natural defence system (the immune system).

Severe iron deficiency anaemia may increase your risk of developing complications that affect the heart or lungs, such as an abnormally fast heartbeat (tachycardia) or heart failure, where your heart is unable to pump enough blood around your body at the right pressure.

Pregnant women with severe or untreated anaemia also have a higher risk of complications before and after birth.

Read more about the complications of iron deficiency anaemia.

Pomegranate: superfood or fad?

Pomegranate: superfood or fad?
Pomegranate: superfood or fad?

Pomegranate and its distinctive ruby-red jewel-like seeds have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

The Middle Eastern fruit is claimed to be effective against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer.

Pomegranate is a good source of fibre. It also contains vitamins A, C and E, iron and other antioxidants (notably tannins).

We’ve teamed up with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) to examine whether the health claims made about the fruit are supported by the evidence.

The evidence on pomegranates

Can pomegranate strengthen bones?

2013 study found evidence that pomegranate strengthened bones and helped prevent osteoporosis. The catch was the study involved mice, not humans.

While the biology of mice and humans are surprisingly similar, we can never be sure that these results will be applicable to us.

Does pomegranate juice slow prostate cancer progress?

One small study from 2006 found that drinking a daily 227ml (8oz) glass of pomegranate juice significantly slowed the progress of prostate cancer in men with recurring prostate cancer. This was a well-conducted study, but more are needed to support these findings.

more recent study from 2013 looked at whether giving men pomegranate extract tablets prior to surgery to remove cancerous tissue from the prostate would reduce the amount of tissue that needed to be removed. The results were not statistically significant, meaning they could have been down to chance.

Can pomegranate reduce carotid artery stenosis?

A good-quality study from 2004 on patients with carotid artery stenosis (narrowed arteries) found that a daily 50ml (1.7oz) glass of pomegranate juice over three years reduced the damage caused by cholesterol in the artery by almost half, and also cut cholesterol build-up. However, these effects are not clearly understood and the study did not say what the results mean for conditions such as stroke.

Is heart disease prevented by pomegranates?

A well-conducted trial from 2005 on 45 patients with coronary heart disease demonstrated that a daily 238ml (8.4oz) glass of pomegranate juice administered over three months resulted in improved blood flow to the heart and a lower risk of heart attack. The study did not say what the results mean for conditions such as heart attacks, and with such a small trial the positive results reported could be down to chance.

The dietitian’s verdict on pomegranates

Alison Hornby, a dietitian and BDA spokesperson, says the evidence around the health benefits of pomegranates are inconclusive.

She says: “Research suggests there may be a benefit, but we’ve not shown it yet. The studies that have found an improvement in existing health conditions were very small and more investigation into the role pomegranate plays in these improvements is needed.

“A 150ml glass of pomegranate juice counts as one of your 5 A Day. Make sure to avoid brands with added sugar. You could also add pomegranate seeds to cold dishes and salads. It’s a healthy and appetising way to increase the nutritional value of your meal.”

The Energy Diet – Top Tips for Feeling Great Through Diet

The Energy Diet
The Energy Diet

The best way to eat if you want to banish tiredness is to have a healthy, balanced diet that contains foods from the four main food groups in the right proportions.

The four food groups are:

fruit and vegetables

potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods

milk and dairy foods

beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other non-dairy sources of protein

Eat at regular intervals

If you eat at regular times, your body knows when your next meal is coming and learns to manage feelings of hunger and sustain your energy levels.

Try to eat three meals a day and limit snacks – especially high-fat ones – between meals.

Breakfast boosts your energy

Breakfast gives you the energy you need to face the day. Despite this, up to one-third of us regularly skip breakfast, according to the British Dietetic Association (BDA).

Go for healthier options, such as porridge with fruit, vegetable omelette, or wholemeal toast with a scraping of low-fat spread or jam.

If you can’t face eating as soon as you get up, take a high-fibre snack to eat on the run, rather than snacking on high-sugar or high-fat foods.

Here are five healthy breakfasts, plus how to choose healthy breakfast cereals.

Aim for at least 5 A DAY for more vitality

Most people in the UK eat too much fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and vegetables are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre – essential nutrients that your body needs to work properly.

Try to incorporate at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg into your daily diet. They can be fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced.

Find tips on how to boost your fruit and veg intake.

Read more about how to get your 5 A DAY.

Slow-burning starches give sustained energy

Starchy foods – also called carbohydrates – such as potatoes, bread, cereals and pasta are an important part of a healthy diet. They’re a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients.

Starchy foods should make up just over a third of everything you eat. There are different types of starch. Where possible, go for slow-burning wholegrain or wholemeal varieties, as they release energy gradually.

Read more about healthy starchy foods.

Sugar steals your stamina

Adults and children in the UK eat too much sugar. Sugar is not only bad for your teeth, it can also be bad for your waistline. It gives you a rush of energy, but one that wears off quickly.

Cutting out all sugar is virtually impossible. There are natural sugars in lots of foods, including fruit and veg, and you don’t need to avoid these.

However, it’s a good idea to cut down on foods with lots of added sugar, such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, non-diet fizzy drinks and chocolates.

Read the facts about sugar.

Iron-rich foods prevent fatigue

Four in 10 (40%) girls and women aged 16-24 and almost half (44%) of girls aged 11-15 have low iron stores, according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

Being low on iron can make you feel tired and faint, and look pale.

While red meats, green vegetables and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals are good sources of iron, the important thing is to eat a range of foods to get enough iron.

Here’s more advice on good sources of iron.

Non-alcoholic drinks boost zest levels

Watch your alcohol intake. It can dehydrate you, which will make you feel tired.

Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids – the government recommends 6-8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water and lower-fat milk are healthier choices.

Read more about healthy drinks.

Eat enough to pack a punch

Make sure you eat the right amount for your activity level. The average man needs around 2,500 calories a day, and the average woman needs 2,000 calories. Remember, we all overestimate how active we are.

Learn how to understand calories.