Manuka Honey and Cider Vinegar – a winning combination

manuka honey and cider vinegar
Healing combination

Some people would swear by cider vinegar for treating weight loss, rheumatism, blood pressure and more.

Others will tell you that manuka honey is the elixir of life, its antibacterial and antioxidant properties can be used to treat complaints internally and externally.

So, why not combine them together?

The wonderfully named Picklecoombe House are doing just that with an active 5+ Manuka Honey & Cider Vinegar.

I’m looking forward to hearing what folk are going to say about this!

If you’re considering low calorie baking, it’s worth remembering xylitol

Just a reminder about xylitol, in case you didn’t know.

It’s a natural sweetener, taken from birch trees, found in fruits and even our own bodies. And it’s almost ½ the calories of sugar.

xylitol
40% less calories than sugar

New sweeteners are coming on to the market constantly, but xylitol has been around for some time and has nothing artificial about it – in fact it can be used in cooking in the same way as sugar and is suitable for diabetics.

As a brand of xylitol, Total Sweet is a sugar alternative, that looks, feels and tastes just like sugarand has a GI value of just 7.

For an example of the kind of recipes you can use xylitol with, jams, mirangues and pastries for example, check the Total Sweet website.

Salad dressings that will bless your bones (and your lettuce leaves)

Righteous Salad Dressing
Be healthy and righteous

Righteous salad dressings have started a revolution.

Check out these comments:

“…Righteous are all right, a range of dressings that aren’t pumped full of fats and sugars… Nice and thick they cling to your salad leaves so that you get a tasty forkful every time.” Foodpedia

“I love salad dressing but as I love to drown my food in sauces and dressings, I usually choose a low calorie one. The problem with this is that they don’t usually taste of much… I tried out the Ginger & Toasted Sesame Dressing and keeping in mind the 66 calories per 15ml thing, I didn’t pour half the bottle over my salad. I realised I didn’t need any more than 15ml as it was delicious and I’m looking forward to lunch tomorrow!” Cathy, PlanetVeggie

The difference is that ‘Nautally Righteous’ insist on not cutting corners, they use healthy oils and keep the price as low as possible.

Good, healthy food at an affordable cost, with no artificial ingredients, plus almost all vegan and gluten free. But it’s the taste too! Fancy one of these Righteous dressings on your salad?

Sweet prediction for 2013

It seems we may all have been hoodwinked.

We all understood that eating healthily would give us better lives.

But somehow we fixated on eliminating fats from our diet when we really needed to be giving some attention to the effects of sugar.

According to the Lovestrong health site:

Both carbohydrates and fats, though often cited as unhealthy dietary components, are macronutrients that play a vital role in maintaining your overall health. Added sugar, on the other hand, doesn’t provide much of a benefit to the body.

What does all this mean for 2013?

I think we can expect more sugar alternatives to come onto the market, so watch this space…
One such alternative already appearing is Sukrin – a natural sweetener developed in Norway from erytritol, a sugar alcohol fermented the from glucose found in pears, melons and mushrooms.
Most importantly: Sukrin has zero calroies and zero GI (ie. it doesn’t affect blood sugar – important for diabetics and dieters). And it can be used in baking too.
sukrin
A delightful sugar alternative from Norway

Sukrin is in fact only 75% as sweet as sugar, it has not artificial sacharin taste and is totally safe for sonsumption. But what I really like about this product is the diversity of products available from Sukrin…

In addition to normal white Sukrin crystals, you can also get Sukrin + which is mixed with Stevia to give  a taste twice as sweet as sugar! (In other words you only have to use half as much.)
Also there is an icing sugar version called Sukrin Melis – very useful indeed… But,  my personal favourite is Sukrin Gold, wich is composed of several natural sweeteners to make a brown caramel flavoured sugar at less than 1 calorie per teaspoon. Perfect for coffee!

Have you heard about green coffee and weight loss?

If, like me, you’ve been trying to lose weight for ages you probably know all the tips and secrets.

You’ll also be frustrated that it isn’t going as well as you like!

One of the key pieces of advice is to get your metabolism working better. But how?

Exercise, sleep, curious foods, even drinking milk, all these things help mobilise your metabolism, but here’s something which has been making shockwaves with its effectiveness…

Green Coffee bean extract has been shown to boost metabolism so that tests foundpeople would lose 18 pounds over 6 weeks. Not only that, taking green coffee pills kept the weight off too.

Green coffee extract elps with weight loss
Green coffee extract elps with weight loss

Green coffee (or raw coffee) contains chlorogenic acid which works by inhibiting the release of glucose and increasing your body’s metabolic process at the same time. Neither does it leave you with the jitters like coffee might.

It’s not something I’ve tried yet, but I’m hoping to get my hands on some as soon as I can.

The best crispbread you’ve ever tasted, and it’s gluten free

The best tasting crispbread ever (in my opinion)

Many people have been asking for a particular crispbread called Pain des Fleurs translated ‘bread of flowers’.

It’s not surprising as it’s the most delicious crispbread I’ve ever tasted, with a sweet and lightly crispy texture.

And it’s also gluten free.

The reason why it’s both delicious and gluten free is that it is a crispbread made from chestnuts (and it’s also organic…) I was writing recently about the versatility of chestnuts and this is just such an example.

However, Pain des Fleurs also make crispbreads using buckwheat and also quinoa. I can’t tell you how these taste but if the quality is anything like the chestnut crispbread it has got to be pretty good.

Health Researchers Gather to Talk about Tea

There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting a role for tea in preventing and treating many chronic diseases, writes Maureen Williams ND.

Researchers recently gathered in Washington, DC, for the Fifth Annual Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health, an event that showcased results from the most recent and not-yet-published studies on the health benefits of tea.

A range of reported benefits

Here are some highlights from the new research presented at the symposium:

  • Tea may lower risk of stroke. A meta-analysis of studies looking at tea consumption and cardiovascular disease conducted by a pair of researchers from UCLA determined that drinking tea was associated with stroke prevention.
  • Tea may improve alertness and focus. A researcher from the Netherlands presented a review of studies looking at the effect of tea on mood and mental functioning. In total, she reported, the evidence suggests that taking tea can improve alertness, attention, and mood.
  • Tea extract may keep blood vessels healthy. This preliminary trial demonstrated that taking tea flavonols (antioxidant compounds) could reduce blood pressure and improve results on tests of blood vessel function in people with mild high blood pressure. It also found that people who had taken the tea flavonols for one week were protected against the deterioration in blood vessel function and blood flow that occurs after eating a very high-fat meal.
  • Tea may assist weight loss. A presentation reviewing the research on tea and weight loss included data showing that tea increases metabolic rate, fat breakdown, and weight loss and may help prevent rebound weight gain.
  • Green tea may prevent some cancers. Two papers reviewing the effects of tea on cancer risk were presented. They suggested that green tea and its antioxidants may have general anticancer effects and reviewed the findings from trials looking at green tea and specific types of cancer. One of the papers noted in particular the promising results from studies looking at green tea and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract: mouth, oesophagus, stomach, liver, and colon.
  • Tea may prevent bone loss. A researcher from Texas reviewed the data on tea’s impact on bone turnover, suggesting that tea, and especially green tea, may improve bone health and prevent fractures.

Specific tea antioxidants—how they work and what they might do for health—were the subject of other studies and reports.

Putting it in perspective

At conferences, researchers always want to present their most exciting new findings, but it is important to keep in mind that none of the papers presented at the symposium have yet been reviewed by third-party experts or published in credible journals. Still, they do show an impressive and growing body of evidence suggesting a role for tea in preventing and treating many chronic diseases.

“As the second most consumed drink in the world next to water, tea accounts for a significant amount of the flavanol intake worldwide,” states Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council of the USA, which has been a leading force behind the International Tea and Human Health Symposium since 1991. “This gathering of renowned global nutrition scientists is the world’s leading platform to release new research on tea, and acts as a catalyst for continuing research on tea in areas as diverse and novel as cognitive function, bone growth, weight management, cancer, and vascular function.”

Abstracts from the symposium are posted at the Tea Association of the USA’s website, http://www.teausa.org.

(Fifth Intl Scientific Symposium Health Abstracts 2012, The Tea Association of the USA, accessed September 27, 2012; http://www.teausa.org/index.cfm/14748/fifth-intl-scientific-symposium-health-abstracts)

Maureen Williams, ND, completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle and has been in private practice since 1995. With an abiding commitment to access to care, she has worked in free clinics in the US and Canada, and in rural clinics in Guatemala and Honduras where she has studied traditional herbal medicine. She currently lives and practices in Victoria, BC, and lectures and writes extensively for both professional and community audiences on topics including family nutrition, menopause, anxiety and depression, heart disease, cancer, and easing stress. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.