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!

You’ll be surprised how much health-power is packed into a drink of Dr Oats

Dr Oats
Heart power in a smoothie

I was dubious at first.

But where other recipes had failed, this version of the drink was a roaring success?

The key ingredient?

Oats.

It is reckoned that just 3g of oat beta-glucan will lower cholesterol – the key factor in heart disease. So I’ve seen several drinks companies to try mix oats into their drinks to make them healthier.

In myopinion Dr Oats smoothies succeed where others have failed because their drinks aren’t gloopy, and they don’t taste like you’ve swallowed a foreign object. Instead they are made simply with fruits and oats. No added sugar, no fruit concentrate or anything else artificial. The taste is fruity and refreshing and it counts as 2 of your five a day.

They boldly claim that a small drink has the same cholesterol lowering power as a bowl of porridge. Can’t be bad, especially if you don’t get on with porridge.

You can try Dr Oats in 3 flavours.
Dr Oats Apple, Berry & Oat Drink
Dr Oats Orange, Passion Fruit & Oat Drink
Dr Oats Mango, Pineapple & Oat Drink

Get the right nutrient mix for a power boost for your body

I don’t know if you’re a pill-type person…

My confession is that I am.

I don’t mind taking a vitamin or some other little tablet to boost my health, and the strength of the supplement industry shows I’m not alone.

Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health
Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health

Bioglan are a company who sell themselves on the basis of being “serious about health”. As I get older, their newest products are beginning to look more attractive.

For me their best selling points are the unique mixes of nutrients designed to help the body and the transparent information on their packaging.

Consider…

Super Fish Oil 30s 
Capsules designed to be high in EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids and deliberately coated for release in the intestines where they can be more easily absorbed. Also preventing a fishy after taste.

Red Krill Oil
Again designed to be better absorbed, krill oil is 10 times more powerful than a standard fish oil capsule.

Joint-Aid Triple Action
Combines three important and powerful nutrients help maintain healthy joints: glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane)

Probiotic Gastrohealth
Contains 4 strains of probiotic that can help sustain a healthy level of friendly bacteria.

Stat-Guard
Uses CoQ10, vitamin E and zinc to support cardiovascular health and  metabolism which can be affected by statins.

The lowdown on linseed

Linseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

It makes a useful alternative to fish oil as it is believed to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. However, it is not yet conclusive that linseed can help with arthritis as fish oil can.

Linseed is a very rich source of lignans which have antioxidant properties. Lignans are of great interest to the medical world at the moment as it is thought that they may be able to help control certain diseases.

The seed is also great for those who need more dietary fibre. It can be taken with yoghurt, breakfast cereals, milk, fruit juice or sprinkled over soups, vegetables, salads or desserts.

Linusit are proud to be producers of high quality linseed (or flaxseed). It is available in both organic and premium  seeds and is cherished for its high nutritional value. It’s also gluten and lactose free and a great source of omega-3 for vegetarians and vegans.

Flaxseed could protect from breast cancer

Compelling evidence that consuming phytoestrogen-rich substances like flaxseed can reduce the risk of death from breast cancer by as much as 40%.

The study involved 1140 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

It seems that foods like flaxseed and sesame seeds introduce plant-derived compounds called lingans into your diet (a type of phytoestrogen). Lingans in turn attach themselves to oestrogen hormones to prevent the growth of further breast cancer tumours.

Seeds of life?
Seeds of life?

This is interesting because the use of soya – also a phytoestrogen rich food is still controversial in its association with breast cancer.

So what can you do?

The introduction of flaxseed (aka linseed) into your diet could well be advised, however it’s useful to know that more studies have to be done before people start taking lingan supplements. There are outstanding questions about how lingans are digested in order to become effective in action against oestrogen.

So, as always, the best advice is to maintain a balanced diet. Flaxseed is healthy anyway. It is rich in omega 3 and is known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and also prevent arthritis. You can try flaxseed with cereals, yoghurt or salads, mixed into mashed potato or baked with bread.

Got a heart for pistachios? You’d be nuts not to

Nuts used to be the bad guys. They were seen as high in fat and calories. Now they are recognised for their positive effect on the body, particularly as a likely preventative of heart disease.

People with diabetes replaced their carb calories with a similar calorie count of nuts and found that their blood sugar levels improved and their unhealthy cholesterol went down.

In a nut shell? Healthy

Interestingly no one in the diabetes test lost or increased their weight even though the nuts made up 20-30% of their calorie intake. But, after 3 months, blood sugar levels were better, indications of cardiac risk were lower and LDL cholesterol was down.

Conclusion: nuts are healthy.

The nuts used in the test were unsalted and mostly raw, with some dry roasted, and included almonds, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and macadamias.

It’s best to eat nuts raw as this preserves the mono- and poly-unsaturated fats which are healtheir fats; eat them unsalted too. Eating nuts are will give you a boost of fibre, vitamin E, and a host of minerals like magnesium and selenium. But they are still high in calories so make sure they’re replacing something else in your diet – the fact that they help control your blood sugar means you’re unlikely to feel as hungry anyway.

Buying nuts in bulk
is the best way to source your favourite variety as nuts can be pretty expensive if you buy them in small bags.

Alternatives to milk

Possibly 75% of people around the world are lactose intolerant – which might go some way to explaining why there are so many alternatives to milk.

But there are numerous other reasons too, it might be simply be beneficial to health, or autism related, or asthma, or galactosaemia, or a sensitivity to casein or one of many other problems with drinking milk.

Whatever your reason it’s important to make sure you’re still getting the calcium, iodine and vitamins that you need.

Here are some of the alternatives…

Goat’s milk
Rich in nutrients and easier to digest (even though it still contains lactose). It has less casein but almost as much fat and calories as cow’s milk. However, it can cause a vitamin B12 deficiency in children.

Sheep’s milk
Sheep’s milk has twice as many minerals, eg. calcium, phosphorus and zinc and the vitamin B-complex, as cow’s milk. But it is also higher in calories and fat. Like goat’s milk, it is easily digested. And it’s also a good source of iodine, which helps if you suffer with thyroid problems.

Camel’s milk
Five times as much Vitamin C as cow’s milk. Helps with diabetes. Contains some lactose. Not easy to source.

Buffalo’s milk
Higher in calcium, protein and iron and contains more vitamins and minerals (including calcium and iron) and 43% less cholesterol than cow’s milk. But it also has twice as much fat and still contains lactose. Not easy to source.

Hemp milk
Half the amount of protein of cow’s milk, and calcium is often added. Rich in Omega 3, minerals and vitamins, hemp milk also has a creamy consistency. No lactose.

Quinoa milk
Quinoa is a very digestive food and nutritionally well balanced. It’s protein contains all essential amino acids and it is rich in unsaturated fatty acids. No lactose.

Spelt milk
A good source of fibre and B-complex vitamins. Cholesterol free. No lactose.

Oat milk
Rich in fibre, lowers cholesterol and low-GI. It’s actually the preferred energy drink of many athletes. A pleasant milky taste. No lactose.

Barley milk
Has a higher phosphorus and potassium content than regular milk. Helpful in repairing the body, though it doesn’t contain calcium. No lactose.

Kamut-wheat milk
Highly recommended for its milk-like taste. No lactose.

Millet milk
Lower in fat, higher in fibre and less calories than cow’s milk. Rich in protein and minerals. No lactose.

Rice milk
Compared to soya, rice milk is considered closer to cow’s milk in taste and texture. It is naturally sweet, low in fat and high in fibre. But it’s also low in calcium and protein. No lactose.

Soya milk
Soya milk is high in protein so it’s useful for cooking with. It is also comparatively cheaper than other milk alternatives due to its ubiquity. However, some avoid it because it can raise estrogen levels. No lactose.

Almond milk
Tastes great, and has some of the lowest calorie counts of all milk alternatives. No lactose.

Hazelnut milk
A thicker consistency. It also provides calcium and sulphur. No lactose.

Coconut milk
Lots of phosphorus, iron, magnesium and fibre makes coconut milk a superfood. It’s low in calories, boosts immunity and has a distinctive creamy taste.

Cashew nut milk
Delicious but not easy to find. Just as well it’s easy to make… Cashew’s are a good source of copper and magnesium.

Raw milk
The argument is that pasteurisation destroys some of the goodness in milk which would actually make it digestible for people with gut problems. It remains to be seen whether ‘green top milk’ is actually helpful for people with psoriasis and high blood pressure.

UV milk
Possibly the milk of the future: milk that is treated by UV instead of pasteurisation?

Lactose-Free milk
Or, of course, you could take the lactose out of the milk

You can also make milk from peas, peanuts, or seeds!