Seasonal food for seasonal good

 

The sun is shining, with the promise of summer before us. For anyone interested in making a change to their eating habits, figuring out food for health dividends or just fixing some food choices for weight management, there is no better time of year to start. Greengrocers and Fruiterers will be laden with fresh delicious fruits and vegetables, with prices coming down thanks to seasonality.

Don’t waste the opportunity; seize the moment and start enjoying some real food!

Delicious food – with benefits

The wonderful thing about the sheer abundance of fresh produce during the next few months is the exciting possibilities for all sorts of tempting recipes. For goodness sake, move beyond the idea of a salad being a lettuce leaf and a bullet hard tomato. There are lots of exciting combinations that can be thrown together to tempt the taste buds – so don’t be afraid to be adventurous. And if you are short of ideas – even for the most basic recipes – download Just Routine for hundreds of recipe ideas and start to give your body some wonderful nutritional gifts.

To better manage weight and gain wider health benefits

Asparagus, onions, leeks, spring onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root.

These are all fabulous ingredients for many a summer dish – yet they also have a common hidden secret: they contain inulin, which studies have shown to aid with weight loss as well as provide wider health benefits. By simply eating these foods you are helping the ‘friendly’ bacteria in your gut do their job.

Inulin is a type of soluble fibre found in many plants. Unlike so much processed food, it is too tough to be digested by the small intestine. Instead, it travels to the lower gut, where it functions as a prebiotic – feeding the ‘friendly’ bacteria that live there, helping them to take care of you. They do a pretty good job too, if you let them, as inulin can help with digestive and colon health as well as weight loss. All you need do is add some onions, leeks, spring onions, garlic or any of the other delicious foods to your summer meals.

Important tip: If these foods are new to you, start slowly; add just some inulin-rich foods to your diet on a regular basis. Remember just because a little of something is good, more is not always better!

Food and affairs of the heart

They say music is the food of love – but if you want to care for your heart, real food is better. A thickening of the artery walls, known as atherosclerosis, is an underlying cause of cardiovascular disease. Now research has shown eating broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts can help, finding it to be particularly beneficial for the hearts of older women.

A study of more than 950 women aged 70 and older by the University of Western Australia found those who ate more vegetables had thinner artery walls, with cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli the most beneficial.

While this remained an observational study, with no direct causal relationship established, the author of the study thought dietary guidelines should highlight the importance of the consumption of cruciferous vegetables for protection from vascular disease. And once again, these can be great vegetables for inclusion in a crunchy summer salad.

Make it a summer to change your eating routines

Our food environment is such that it’s hard for people to eat healthier, but the summer is one of the best times to embark on change. Go on- give it a try – you might surprise yourself!

Note: before starting inulin supplementation always consult with your doctor.

 

Move beyond calories
Make eating real food Just Routine 

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Iris is the founder of No Targets Just Routine. She has researched food since 2009 and believes “Happiness is real food shared with loved ones.”

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