Fancy some chocolate without the guilt?

 I couldn’t help it. I can resist everything except temptation.

Lord Darlington in Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windemere’s Fan

We all want chocolate now and again, and those who don’t like it normally don’t have to deal with the herculean task of resisting it.

Choxy luxury xylitol chocolate
Choxy luxury Xylitol chocolate

But if you’re diabetic or on a diet, that is the temptation which faces you.

Thankfully there’s Choxy Luxury Chocolate from Xylitol.

Xylitol is a Birch tree sugar just as good as regular sugar. It is a natural sweetener with many health benefits. It has a low GI, has 40% less calories than sugar and can be used by diabetics.

Fancy some coffee or mint chocolate, dark or orange? You don’t need to be tempted…

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What do you do to deal with cystitis (honeymoon syndrome)?

If you’re a fan of the movie The Green Mile and have seen the way the Tom Hanks character suffers you’ll know that it isn’t just women who suffer from cystitis.

However, when you survey discussion forums for answers it’s generally women who pass on suggestions like cranberry juice or barley water. One solution that often comes up is Potters Antitis – which is a herbal remedy used for the relief of urinary or bladder discomfort and infections.

Antitis is made of several natural ingredients including Buchu and Uva Ursi (diuretic and urinary antiseptics), Clivers (a diuretic which also controls bleeding in the urinary tract), Shepherds Purse (a urinary antiseptic with anti-haemorrhaging action) and Couchgrass (a diuretic specific to cystitis).

It’s not a pleasant experience but anyone can experience it, so it’s worth knowing Antitis can help. If you have any other solutions you’d like to share, feel free to add a comment.

Many, many wheat-alternative flours available

There are many reasons for using non-wheat flours, from being on a paleo diet to having an intolerance to gluten, but they can also be appreciated for their nutrition, fibre and flavour.

There are many alternatives to wheat
There are many alternatives to wheat

There’s never been a better time to experiment with alternative flours and the list of flours available seems to be endless.

Wheat-Free.org has a very good list of wheat alternatives with a good guide to their gluten content, nutrition, flavour and alternative names.

GoodnessDirect sells a good range of these. You’d really have to visit their speciality flour webpage to find the one you want. But just for tasters here are a few of the popular ones…

  • Brown Rice Flour
  • Buckwheat  Flour
  • Chestnut Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Gram Flour / Chickpea Flour
  • Maize Flour
  • Millet  Flour
  • Potato Flour
  • Quinoa Flour
  • Rice Flour
  • Rye Flour
  • Soya Flour
  • Spelt Flour
  • Tapioca Flour
  • Teff Flour

Many women are ignorant about the chemicals in their make-up

This organic September it’s worth remembering that organics isn’t just about food it’s about cosmetics as well, and the chemicals which women are putting on their faces.

As this video reports:

 

Green People are vegan and aim for 100% organic ingredients in their skin care, body care and sensitive skin ranges, including scent-free solutions for people with skin allergies, eczema and psoriasis.

Berry Chia Breakfast Pudding recipe and a chance to Win The Functional Nutrition Cookbook

Our friend and nutritionist, Christine Bailey, has another book out. This time it’s in collaboration with fellow nutritionist, Lorraine Nicolle. The book is called The Functional Nutrition Cookbook: Addressing Biochemical Imbalances through Diet (published by Singing Dragon on 15 September 2012).

This unique cookbook, with a CD-ROM of printable recipes, doesn’t just help you get round health problems, it helps you know what food you can eat to counter-act the complaints.

You can make a real difference to issues like gastro-intestinal problems, a weak immune system and hormone imbalances through diet. Recipes are provided for each imbalance and there’s even a chapter on how to age healthily.

I’ve got a copy of this book to give away, so if you’re interested in winning a copy, send me an email with your name and address (UK addresses only, competition closes 20.9.12).

Berry Chia Pudding Breakfast
Berry Chia Pudding Breakfast

Try the Berry Chia Breakfast Pudding recipe

This recipe is taken from Christine’s new book. It uses Chia seeds, which are a rich source of omega-3 (alpha linolenic – ALA) fatty acids and antioxidants. They are great for adding to desserts, smoothies and bars, as well as for this grain-free breakfast pudding. Rich in soluble fibre, they form a gel when added to water or juice that helps slow down the rate of digestion, keeping you feeling full throughout the morning. In addition, the sesame seeds in the tahini contain omega-6 (linoleic acid – LA) fatty acids.

Serves 4
50g / 1 ¾ oz / ½ cup chia seeds
250ml / 8floz / 1cup 100% unsweetened pomegranate juice
2tbsp tahini
12 soft pitted dates, chopped
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of cinnamon
225g / 8oz raspberries

1. Place the chia seeds in the juice and leave to soak for 20 minutes. The seeds should swell up and thicken the liquid.
2. Place all the ingredients but only half of the raspberries into a blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Stir in the remaining raspberries.
3. Spoon into bowls and serve

More dairy free milk coming onto the market

Whenever there is a need to use a milk alternative, it always seems to be soya milk that comes to people’s mind first. But those who have explored alternative options a bit more will know that there’s a lot more out there.

A new dairy free milk
A new dairy free milk

Rice Dream has proved a valuable alternative to some people with its lack of aftertaste and pleasant natural sweetness. But there are many other milk alternatives out there besides rice and the demand for quality milk alternatives is growing.

Rice Dream have developed variations with a vanilla version and a hazelnut and almond flavoured Rice Dream which is loved by vegan friends. But now, there are even more dreamy options with an Almond Dream made from almonds rather than rice and an Oat Dream coming onto the market too. Like the enriched Rice Dream they have added vitamins A, D & B12, with the same calcium as milk.

The best solution is to work out which type of dairy free milk tastes best in different cooking environments. For example, while oat milk may taste good with cereals, almond milk adds a delicious sweetener to tea, and of course, there’s always the pleasure of just drinking rice milk straight from the glass.

Finding the Vitamin C Sweet Spot

Interesting findings on vitamin C as reported by Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD

Some research points to possible health benefits of taking vitamin C in amounts well above the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), while other studies do not. Further complicating the matter is that the thousands of vitamin C studies vary greatly in quality. A group of experts has addressed many of these issues in a comprehensive review of decades of vitamin C research. They have concluded that there is a vitamin C sweet spot—a level of intake that maximises health benefits, while minimising risks of getting too much.

“C-ing” the big picture

Three noted vitamin C experts from the US, France, and Denmark combed through hundreds of research papers on vitamin C. They considered many factors, including how the body metabolises, or “processes,” vitamin C, the health dangers of not getting enough, and the downsides of getting too much.

The group looked at randomised controlled trials, long considered the gold standard of high quality research; ecological comparisons, in which nutrient and food intakes and disease rates are compared across different countries; and observational studies, often referred to as epidemiologic research.

Important points to emerge from this review include that:

  • The minimum: The RDA for vitamin C is set to prevent scurvy, a vitamin C–deficiency disease. The daily intake of vitamin C required to prevent scurvy appears to be significantly lower than the amount needed to maximise health and minimise chronic disease risk.
  • The maximum: Blood levels of vitamin C begin to level off for most people around an intake of 200 mg of vitamin C daily from all sources, and consuming more than 200 mg did not significantly increase blood levels. Excess vitamin C intake appears to not be used by the body and is excreted.
  • Safety considerations: At intakes of 200 mg of vitamin C daily, no safety issues have been noted. At intakes up to 3,000 mg daily, toxicity assessments show no evidence of harm for nearly all adults. For people at risk of harm from excess vitamin C, such as those with the blood disorders haemochromatosis and thalassemia, or kidney stones, 200 mg per day appears to be safe.
  • The sweet spot: Most health agencies set a safe upper limit for vitamin C of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day—5- to 10-fold higher than the 200 mg per day suggested by the authors as optimum. Eating five to nine servings of vegetables and fruit daily can meet the 200 mg vitamin C goal.

Finding your C sweet spot

The RDA for vitamin C is set at 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women, however, the vitamin C experts lay out a compelling argument for raising this level to 200 mg per day for all adults. Also keep in mind that there are certain situations in which even higher doses of vitamin C may be appropriate. Your doctor or dietitian can help you determine if this applies to you, but our tips can help you get more C into your daily diet:

  • Aim high. Five to nine servings of fresh and lightly cooked vegetables and fruit daily will help you get more vitamin C.
  • Get steamy. Steam your vegetables to best preserve vitamin C. Frying, boiling, or saucepan-cooking destroy more of the nutrient.
  • See citrus. A small glass (6 ounces) of orange or grapefruit juice daily, or an orange with lunch, will up your C quotient. Squeeze lemon or lime into water and tea too. Leave in the pulp for some fibre.
  • Supplement with savvy. If you suspect you’re not getting enough vitamin C, consider a dietary supplement to bring your intake up to 200 mg per day.

(Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr; 52:815–29)

Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognised expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.