Food for thought 

A few ideas for meals,  I will elaborate on later as the candles burnt long enough tonight! 

Banana detox smoothie ~ burns fat!?

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Ingredients

◾1 banana
◾1 orange or kiwi
◾1 cup of dairy-free or low-fat yogurt
◾1 tablespoon coconut oil
◾¼ tablespoon ginger powder
◾2 tablespoons flax seeds/linseeds

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Drink immediately!

FODMAP DIET

Fermentable

Oligo-saccharides

Di- accharides

Mono-saccharides

And

Polyols

 

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A diet low in FODMAP’s may be of benefit to some IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) sufferers as it removes or alleviates symptoms of bloating, wind, abdominal pain with alternating bowel habits between constipation and diarrhoea with or without nausea and vomiting, but not all! Neither will it remove other physiological symptoms such as skin conditions, joint pain and discomfort, headaches or migraines.

A diet high, FODMAP’s (fruits, dairy, vegetables and grain cereals) are a category of carbohydrates, which rapidly fermented in the gut/ intestine.

It is important when speaking with your GP that you ask to be referred to a registered dietician with FODMAP approach training.

The low FODMAP diet is complex and so it is advisable to speak with a dietician, and one who is registered and experienced with this specialist diet. This is important as it is all to easy to begin a diet but omit certain foods which subsequently will also mean that either we do not benefit fully or we miss out on essential vitamins and minerals, this can have a detrimental affect on our body through lack of nutrition. Without the appropriate knowledge of foods, ingredients, processed foods, labels and eating out we can easily read information wrongly as some ingredients are ‘hidden’ being called different names like E numbers. There is a lot of confusing advice, some research has become outdated, then there is new research, and it is all too easy to read information on the internet to follow it to our detriment or even peril. It can also become ineffective.

The FODMAP diet is relatively new, so it is possible that a GP or gastroenterologist does not know if this diet, ask for them to refer you to a registered dietician to receive the correct up-to-date information. There are FODMAP trained dieticians working in the NHS and privately both may require referrals from your GP or consultant private dieticians may also require a referral. A vast amount of research and training is being undertaken a growing number of registered dieticians who are skilled in the delivery of the low FODMAP diet with formal training at a variety of global institutions.

High FODMAP

Vegetables and Legumes

  • Garlic – avoid entirely if possible
  • Onions – avoid entirely if possible
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Baked beans
  • Beetroot
  • Black eyed peas
  • Broad beans
  • Butter beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery – greater than 5cm of stalk
  • Kidney beans
  • Leeks
  • Mange Tout
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Soy beans
  • Split peas
  • Scallions / spring onions (bulb / white part)
  • Shallots

Fruit – fruits can contain high fructose

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Dates
  • Feijoa
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Persimmon
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Tinned fruit in apple / pear juice
  • Watermelon

Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes

  • Chorizo
  • Sausages
  • Processed meat – check ingredients

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

  • Wheat containing products such (be sure to check labels):
  • Biscuits
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cashews
  • Cakes
  • Croissants
  • Crumpets
  • Egg noodles
  • Muffins
  • Regular noodles
  • Pastries
  • Pasta made from wheat
  • Sourdough
  • Udon noodles
  • Wheat bread
  • Wheat cereals
  • Wheat flour
  • Wheat rolls
  • Wheatgerm
  • Barley
  • Bran cereals
  • Couscous
  • Gnocchi
  • Muesli
  • Pistachios
  • Rye
  • Semolina

Condiments, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads

  • Agavae
  • Fructose
  • Gravy, if it contains onion
  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Milk chocolate
  • Relish
  • Stock cubes
  • Sugar free sweets containing polyols – usually ending in -ol or isomalt
  • Inulin
  • Isomalt
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol

Prebiotic Foods

  • The follow items can be added to yoghurts, snack bars etc:
  • FOS – fructooligosaccharides
  • Inulin
  • Oligofructose

Drinks

  • Beer – if drinking more than one bottle
  • Dandelion tea
  • Fruit and herbal teas with apple added
  • Fruit juices in large quantities
  • Fruit juices made of apple, pear, mango
  • Orange juice in quantities over 100ml
  • Rum
  • Sodas containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Soy milk made with soy beans – commonly found in USA
  • Sports drinks
  • Tea, fennel
  • Tea, chamomile
  • Tea, oolong
  • Wine – if drinking more than one glass

Dairy Foods

  • Buttermilk
  • Cream cheese
  • Cream
  • Custard
  • Ice cream
  • Milk – cow, goat and sheep
  • Sour cream
  • Yoghurt – including greek yogurt

LOW FODMAP

egetables and Legumes

  • Alfalfa
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bok choy / pak choi
  • Broccoli – avoid large servings
  • Brussel sprouts – 1 serving of 2 sprouts
  • Butternut squash – 1/4 cup
  • Cabbage – 1 serving of 1 cup
  • Carrots
  • Celery – less than 5cm of stalk
  • Collard greens
  • Corn / sweet corn- if tolerable and only in small amounts – 1/2 cob
  • Courgette
  • Chick peas – 1/4 cup
  • Chilli – if tolerable
  • Chives
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant / aubergine
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper (green bell pepper)
  • Ginger
  • Kale
  • Leek leaves
  • Lentils – in small amounts
  • Lettuce
  • Marrow
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Parsnip
  • Radish
  • Red peppers (red bell pepper)
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin, canned – 1/4 cup, 2.2 oz
  • Scallions / spring onions (green part)
  • Silverbeet / chard
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Spinach, baby
  • Squash
  • Swede
  • Sweet potato – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato – avoid cherry tomato
  • Turnip
  • Yam
  • Zucchini

Fruit

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberry
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberry
  • Clementine
  • Dragonfruit
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew and Galia melons
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemon including lemon juice
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Passion fruit
  • Paw paw
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberry
  • Tangelo

Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Prosciutto
  • Quorn, mince
  • Turkey
  • Cold cuts / deli meat / cold meats such as ham and turkey breast

Fish and Seafood

  • Canned tuna
  • Fresh fish e.g.
    • Salmon
    • Cod
    • Haddock
    • Plaice
    • Trout
  • Seafood (ensuring nothing else is added) e.g.
    • Crab
    • Lobster
    • Shrimp
    • Mussels
    • Oysters

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

  • Wheat free or gluten free breads
  • Bread made from oats, rice, corn, and potato flours
  • Wheat free or gluten free pasta
  • Buckwheat noodles
  • Rice noodles
  • Porridge and oat based cereals
  • Cornflakes – 1/2 cup
  • Rice bran
  • Rice Krispies
  • Almonds – max of 15
  • Amaranth
  • Brazil nuts
  • Bulgur / bourghal – 1/4 cup cooked, 44g serving
  • Buckwheat
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Brown rice / whole grain rice
  • Cornflour / maize
  • Crispbread
  • Corncakes
  • Coconut – milk, cream, flesh
  • Corn tortillas, 3 tortillas
  • Hazelnuts – max of 15
  • Macadamia – max of 10
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Oatcakes
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans – max of 15
  • Pine nuts – max of 15
  • Polenta
  • Popcorn
  • Potato chips, plain
  • Potato flour
  • Pumpkin seeds – max of 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Quinoa
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice crackers
  • Rice flour
  • Sesame seeds – max of 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Spelt
  • Sunflower seeds – max of 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Sorgum
  • Tortilla chips
  • Walnuts – max of 10
  • White rice

Condiments, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame K
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Chocolate, dark
  • Chutney, 1 tablespoon
  • Fish sauce
  • Garlic infused oil
  • Golden syrup
  • Glucose
  • Jam / jelly, strawberry
  • Ketchup (USA) – 1 sachet
  • Maple syrup
  • Marmalade
  • Mayonnaise – ensuring no garlic or onion in ingredients
  • Mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Oyster sauce
  • Pesto sauce – less than 1 tbsp
  • Peanut butter
  • Saccharine
  • Soy sauce
  • Stevia
  • Sweet and sour sauce
  • Sucralose
  • Sugar – also called sucrose
  • Tomato sauce (outside USA) – 2 sachets, 13g
  • Vegemite
  • Vinegar, balsamic – less than 2 tbsp
  • Vinegar, rice wine
  • Worcestershire sauce

Drinks

  • Alcohol – is an irritant to the gut, limited intake advised:
  • Beer – limited to one drink
  • Clear spirits such as Vodka
  • Gin
  • Whiskey
  • Wine – limited to one drink
  • Coffee, espresso, regular or decaffeinated, black
  • Coffee, espresso, regular or decaffeinated, with up to 250ml lactose free milk
  • Coffee, instant, regular or decaffeinated, black
  • Coffee, instant, regular or decaffeinated, with up to 250ml lactose free milk
  • Espresso, regular, black
  • Fruit juice, 125ml and safe fruits only
  • Lemonade – in low quantities
  • Soya milk made with soy protein
  • Sugar free fizzy drinks / soft drinks / soda – such as diet coke, in low quantities as aspartame and acesulfame k can be irritants
  • ‘Sugar’ fizzy drinks / soft drinks / soda that do no contain HFCS such as lemonade, cola. Limit intake due to these drinks being generally unhealthy and can cause gut irritation
  • Tea, black, weak e.g. PG Tips
  • Tea, chai, weak
  • Tea, fruit and herbal, weak – ensure no apple added
  • Tea, green
  • Tea, peppermint
  • Tea, white
  • Water

Dairy Foods and Eggs

  • Butter
  • Cheese, brie
  • Cheese, camembert
  • Cheese, cheddar
  • Cheese, cottage
  • Cheese, feta
  • Cheese, goat / chevre
  • Cheese, mozzarella
  • Cheese, ricotta – 2 tablespoons
  • Cheese, swiss
  • Dairy free chocolate pudding
  • Eggs
  • Gelato
  • Lactose free milk
  • Lactose free yoghurt
  • Margarine
  • Oat milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Rice milk
  • Sorbet
  • Soy protein (avoid soya beans)
  • Swiss cheese
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Whipped cream

Cooking ingredients, Herbs and Spices

  • Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Coriander, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Spices: All spice, Cinnamon, Cumin, Five spice, Paprika, Turmeric
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cream, 1/2 cup
  • Gelatine
  • Ghee
  • Icing sugar
  • Lard
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil

Training and good nutrition work best together!

Drink for the reason that around 70% of your body is made up of water; used to regulate temperature, lubricate joints and transport nutrients and energy around the body. Dehydration diminishes performance, so when you are training, you will sweat more, add an electrolyte tablet to your drink.

Avoid spikes in blood sugar from high G.I. sugary processed food and snacks eat low G.I carbohydrates which stabilise blood sugar and last for longer in the body.

Avoid overuse of caffeine which interferes with performance

Foods high in saturated fats should be avoided, but your body needs essential fats to process protein, and in endurance events, the body uses fat as fuel. Fish, nuts and avocado are sources of good fats. Supplement your diet with fish oil supplements which contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 will provide added benefits to joints, reducing inflammation, and boosting energy!

To quickly replenish glycogen stores and muscle repair, which continues after exercise for a few hours, eat something small every hour since small meals are easier for the body to process than one large meal.

Training and good nutrition work best together!

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What is a food allergy or intolerance?

A food allergy is sometimes used to describe all adverse reactions to food, the term is more often used to refer specifically to food reactions that are mediated by the immune system.

To protect us from illness and disease, our immune systems protect us from illnesses and diseases so  are continuously trying to lessen the danger represented by substances called antigens. Antigens are parts of proteins that our bodies recognize as dangerous and take steps to neutralize. Antigens can be found most anywhere there is protein – in foods, of course, but also in microorganisms like bacteria.

When our immune cells identify a dangerous antigen, they act to neutralize it and prevent it from causing harm in the body. When antigens from bacteria or viruses interact with our cells, we can get the flu, or the common cold. We don’t get the flu from food antigens, but we can get a wide range of immune-related symptoms that range from sniffles to hives to anaphylactic shock.

Immediate versus Delayed Hypersensitivity

Allergic reactions to food, also called food hypersensitivities, are further classified as either immediate or delayed. Immediate hypersensitivity reactions occur within hours or even a few minutes after a food is eaten, typically causing very obvious physical symptoms such as a rash, the hives, a running nose, or a headache.

In rare cases, immediate hypersensitivity reactions can cause anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition in which the throat swells and blocks the passage of air. Immediate hypersensitivities affect only a small percentage of the population.

Immediate Reactions to Food

The foods that are most often implicated as the cause of immediate allergic responses include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts), soy, strawberries, wheat, fish and shellfish. Many people with immediate food hypersensitivities must completely eliminate the offending food from their diet to avoid the serious symptoms.

Delayed Reactions to Food

Many of the same foods that are known to cause immediate hypersensitivities in a small number of people, have been implicated as a cause of delayed or “masked” food allergies in much larger numbers of individuals. Delayed food hypersensitivity reactions are believed to affect millions of people; some physicians have suggested that as many as 60% of all Americans suffer from masked food allergies.

These reactions may be responsible for a variety of symptoms including dark circles or puffiness under the eyes, fluid retention, dermatitis, sinus congestion, fatigue, abdominal pain or discomfort, joint inflammation, mood swings, indigestion, headaches, chronic ear infections, asthma, poor memory, anxiety and depression.

As the name suggests, delayed hypersensitivities do not appear immediately after consuming a particular food. In fact, in most cases the immune response is so delayed that it is difficult to determine which food is causing the symptoms, and many people are unaware that they are sensitive to certain foods.

Only through careful dietary manipulation, such as an Elimination Diet or Rotation Diet, is it usually possible to identify these hidden food allergies. The foods most often associated with delayed hypersensitivities include dairy products, eggs, wheat, soy products, peanuts, shellfish, and refined sugar.

Food Intolerance are immune-mediated food allergies represent one type of adverse food reaction. Another type of adverse food reaction is called food intolerance. Food intolerance is an umbrella term that refers to any abnormal physiological response to a food that is not caused by an antibody/antigen reaction. For example, some food intolerances are caused by enzyme deficiencies, while others are caused by poor function of the digestive tract or a sensitivity to a natural or synthetic chemical.

Lactose Intolerance is the most common food intolerance, which affects as many as 30% of adults, additionally it is particularly common in people of African and Asian heritage.

People with lactose intolerance do not produce enough of the digestive enzyme called lactase, which breaks down the milk sugar (lactose) found in dairy products. When too much undigested lactose makes its way into the large intestine, people suffer from gas and/or diarrhoea.

Wheat intolerance,  wheat allergy, and wheat sensitivity are all terms frequently used to described adverse reaction to this food. Wheat is unique when it comes to adverse food reactions, particularly because it has long been classified as the primary “gluten grain” and because its research history has been both complicated and controversial. Understanding allergy-related issues associated with gluten is important for understanding problems connected to wheat.

 

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Colourful vegetables

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Vegetables can be freely paired with greens making your nutrition full and balanced.
Everyone has their own favourites; carrots, beets, celery, turnips, sweet potatoes, brussel spouts, onions, broccoli, cabbages. All are extremely nutritious, containing vitamins, fibre, water, elements and minerals to fill you up trim the body naturally, high in folate, potassium and vitamins A, E and C.
The proverb says:

“A sound mind in a sound body.”

By adding more vegetables and greens to your diet plan you will notice an improvement in a brief period of time to enhance your the body’s performance, especially pre or post exercise.

Tru3 J0y

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Muscle cramps!

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Muscle cramps are painful spasms which happen during or after exercise, regardless of whether you are at rest or asleep, when your muscle goes into a hard, contracted state and you can’t relax it. The pain usually subsides after a few seconds or minutes thankfully rarely does it last for 15 minutes or more! Cramps can come back a few times before eventually subsiding moving from your position, walking around or a light jog (my son tells me).

Muscle cramps do not usually have serious long-term effects however they may be a sign of an underlying health condition or just after exercising and nothing to worry about but always check with your doctor to be certain.

What causes cramps?

Surprisingly, the exact cause of cramps is still unknown, however causes which may lead to them are:

  • overexertion (straining or overusing a muscle), or after strenuous activity such as running a maratho
  • dehydration
  • lack of fitness or specific training
  • a lack of electrolytes in your diet (sodium from salt) 
  • a loss of electrolytes from your body through sweating
  • exercising in hot weather
  • a poor training technique

How can I treat cramps?

The first thing to do when the cramp comes on is DO something to ease the pain.

Tips to help relieve it:

  • STOP whatever exercise you’re doing.
  • Gently stretch the cramped muscle, hold until your muscle relaxes – ask a friend to help you.
  • Gently massage the muscle.
  • Walk around a little or go for a gentle jog.
  • You may initially want to apply some heat to your muscle to relax it. After this, ice may give some relief – use an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin as it can damage your skin.
  • Drink some water to replace any fluids you may have lost
  • Gently massage the muscle.
  • Walk around a little or go for a gentle jog
  • Apply some heat to your muscle to relax it initially
  • After, ice may give some relief – use an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin as it can burn your skin.
  • Drink water to replace any lost fluids.

Any muscle can go into spasm, however, cramps affect mainly the muscle groups, so specifically to treat:

Cramp in your calf gastrocnemius:

  • stand in a lunge position
  • stretch your affected leg out straight behind you.

Cramp in your quadriceps – thigh muscles

  • stand upright,
  • lift your ankle towards your buttocks while holding the top of your foot.
  • pull your heel gently in towards your buttocks to stretch.

Relieve cramp in your hamstring muscles:

  • sit down,
  • stretch your leg out in front of you,
  • keeping your knee straight,
  • lean forward to touch your foot.

How do I prevent cramps?

Prevention is better than cure!

To prevent injuries and cramp, before they happen:

Training

Build up the intensity and duration of your training gradually so your body will have time to adjust to the increasing activity.

Hydration

Make sure you stay well hydrated while you’re exercising. Urine colour is a useful indicator of how hydrated you are. Generally, dark urine suggests that you’re dehydrated, with the paler yellow urine being ideal in fact the paler the better!

Warming up and stretching

Start exercising with a gentle warm-up before you move to more intensive exercise. Stretching your muscles reduces your chances of developing injuries, including cramp, improving on your flexibility so the benefit of stretching before or after exercise for preventing injury is unproven idea;;y do both to warm up and warm down is what PE teachers tell you/students.

However, if you regularly get muscle cramps, see your GP or physiotherapist for advice.

Be prepared before training/exercise:

  1. Build up your training gradually.
  2. Drink enough water before, during and after exercising – how much you need will depend on how thirsty you feel.
  3. Wear the right clothes with properly fitting trainers when you exercise.
  4. See your doctor/GP if you regularly get cramps.

 Exercise wisely it’s great to exercise however it is so easy to overdo it or not drink enough water – I know I live up a big hill however depending on which way I go depends on how steep the gradient is and I need to build up my fitness gradually no think I can push myself too fast or with too much sudden exertion!

The Ultrametabolism Diet

Using the science of nutrigenomics by increasing your metabolism, so it burns the fat.

Based on nutrigenomics, the science of how food affects our genes, an eight-week plan by weight-loss to kick start your metabolism.

Dieters are encouraged to eat whole/unprocessed foods to help genes to burn fat. By the end of eight weeks, dieters will have lose between 11 – 21 pounds on average.

The plan emphasizes seven keys to weight-loss success, ranging from appetite control to stress reduction, and includes detailed shopping lists and kitchen recommendations.

Supplements ranging from magnesium and zinc to probiotics and creatine are recommended.

Fresh produce, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean fish, meat, and poultry. The one-week prep phase banishes sugar, hydrogenated fats, refined grains, alcohol, and caffeine — pretty much anything that isn’t found in a garden or a pasture.

Daily meal plans and recipes include nut butter smoothies and white beans on a bed of greens.

No calorie restrictions or portion recommendations, but processed foods should be avoided at all times.

After the induction period, less than three glasses of wine weekly, and only half a cup of coffee but unlimited green tea each day!

Eat whole foods, choose healthy ethnic cuisine, restaurants which prepare from scratch and serve homemade meals not fast foods.

Food options and recipes are a little out there for the typical palate, and once you personalize your plan, your family will be following a diet tailored to your specific needs, not their own needs especially for growing children or hard-working physical workers.

Recipes are time consuming and expensive as fresh, organic groceries are not cheap ideally for those who are interested in organic, hormone-free, whole foods and who are willing to completely overhaul their kitchens.

The emphasis is on organic, fresh foods, flax, nuts, seeds so consequently, will increase the food bill.

The formula-driven approach and slow, meticulous reintroduction of initially banished foods can be cumbersome and frustrating for many dieters.

However, don’t be put off as once you have a plan to follow for your diet then you won’t need to plan further.
Also, don’t be put off by price as it can be adapted by eating cheaper fresh foods and cheaper nuts and seeds.

Tru3 J0y

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Love you body inside and out!

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats.
I will share various recipes to encourage and support others with a healthy lifestyle but the basics are to eat/drink a little bit of everything and not too much of anything!
Old adage –

‘everything in moderation’

We all need to cleanse the inside of our bodies just as we cleanse the outside! So my first recipe is a Detox soup!
Detox Potassium broth
Ingredients:
2 large potatoes chopped into large chunks
2 large carrots chopped into large chunks
1 cup of red beetroot chopped into chunks
4 celery sticks, chopped into small chunks
1 cup of parsley roughly chopped
1 cup of turnips chopped into chunks
1 cup of peeled and diced red onion
Pinch of cayenne pepper to taste.

Method:
Using a 1.8L (Litres) or 13 1/2P (pints)
Place all ingredients into the stockpot
Bring to the boil for five minutes.
Simmer for two hours, then strain; reserving the liquid to drink!
Drink hot, may be reheated, as required, bringing to the boil.

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Tea Inventory”
Herbs and spices to aid “Digestion”
To prevent painful cramps and sharp pains after eating food, I have found that drinking peppermint tea aids digestion (thanks to my parents recommendation). Other teas which aid digestion include: Peppermint tea, which is a natural anti-spasmodic which means that it slows the muscles in the bowel which in irritable bowel. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may contract to frequently adding to the pains felt in the intestines also easing flatulence caused by either too much insoluble fibre, drinking fizzy drinks too fast or air taking in whilst eating too quickly.
Camomile tea also helps to ease digestion and has calming soothing properties so easing nerves reducing anxiety – not related to digestion, camomile teabags can be infused cooled and applied to soothe itchy inflamed eyes and is added to creams to soothe rashes and sensitive skin for nursing mothers or their babies.
Nettleleaf tea is used to relieve nettle rash, allergic reactions and hay fever whilst also being high in vitamins and minerals especially iron, which is important for girls and women.
Fennel seed tea is used to aid digestion relieve bloating and nausea whilst also for breastfeeding mothers it is said to increase menstruation, milk flow and reduce colic and wind in the baby (found in many curry spices or seeds).

Traditionally we have added herbs and spices when cooking, each has a role to play and not just for taste but digestive health and comfort. Herbs and spices to aid digestion include; bay, caraway, cardamom, chervil, cumin, cinnamon, dill, ginger, mint, tarragon – so there is a reason why we serve mint sauce with lamb!

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Liquorice Glycyrrhiza glabra

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Licorice plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a legume, which roots have a sweet flavour. The roots contain compounds, like anethole and glycyrrhizic acid, responsible for the sweetness and other properties of this herb. Licorice was used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians for therapeutic purposes. This herb was used for treating stomach disorders as well as respiratory problems. It was very widely used in Asia and Europe too. Today, licorice is used as flavouring agent, herbal medicine, available as root extract, tablets, root tea, candies, etc. You may also come across tobacco products flavored with licorice. However, use of licorice in high doses, that too for a long term, may result in serious side effects.
Benefits
Licorice roots are otherwise known as sweet wood, sweet root, black sugar, and liquorice. The most common use of licorice root is for treating respiratory problems, like bronchitis and asthma. It is also widely used as an expectorant, and is an active ingredient in cough syrups. It is found to be effective for relieving the symptoms of allergic conditions, like hay fever and allergic rhinitis. Stomach ulcers are also treated with licorice. The herb is said to be beneficial for treating conditions, like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ileitis, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Licorice is used to cure sore throat, bloating and acidity, menstrual cramps, and symptoms of menopause. It is said that consumption of licorice boosts the immune system, thereby preventing viral infections; used for treating viral hepatitis and genital herpes. It is also suggested that licorice can lower LDL cholesterol and prevent arteriosclerosis. This herb is also used for treating skin conditions, like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Side Effects
As like many other herbs, excess use of licorice may cause certain side effects associated with factors, like excess consumption, interaction with other drugs, and the physical condition of the user. In case of licorice, studies suggest that the presence of glycyrrhizic acid is the reason behind such side effects.
There are two types of licorice products – one with glycyrrhizic acid and the other without that compound. The most common side effects of licorice roots include headache, breathing difficulty, water retention, stomach ache, and joint stiffness. Long-term use of this herb has been linked to problems, like high blood pressure, edema, liver problems, kidney diseases, and pseudoaldosteronism. Excess use of licorice with glycyrrhizic acid may result in muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, headaches, inflammation, and low testosterone levels in men.
It has been observed that most of the side effects are caused by high doses. Licorice roots should not be taken by people with high blood pressure, diabetes, cirrhosis, kidney problems, heart diseases, low blood potassium levels, estrogen-sensitive disorders, etc. Pregnant and nursing women and small kids should also avoid use of this herb. It is better to avoid licorice, if you are taking diuretics or heart medication. In case, you wish to use this herb for medicinal purposes, consult a qualified herbal practitioner and follow his instructions.
The root of a plant named Glycyrrhiza glabra more commonly known as Liquorice. The sweet extract obtained from this root is also referred to as licorice, a confectionery extracted from the roots of this plant. This confectionery is used for preparing various sweets like chocolates and candies. Following are some recipes:

Licorice Tea

Ingredients •Water, 6 cups
•Licorice Root, 2½ tsp. (dried)
•Cinnamon Stick, 1
•Peppermint, ½ cup (dried)
•Honey, ½ cup
Procedure

Take a large pot and pour water into it. Keep the pot over high heat and bring the water to boil. Then, add licorice and cinnamon to the boiling water, and lower the heat to simmer the liquid. Then cover the pot partially, with a plate, and simmer it for 10 more minutes. Remove the pot from heat, and add peppermint to the liquid. Cover the pot completely and let it steep for 10 minutes. Now, strain the tea and add honey to it. Let the tea cool completely, and then place the container to refrigerate. Serve with ice cubes.

Tru3 J0y
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