A new year comes with new hopes and dreams, new expectations and new optimism. It’s been said that ‘you are what you eat’ and if that is the case, for you to become the best version of you in 2017, you must be conscious about what goes into your body and intentional about eating the right foods. Below are five tips recommended by our experts at Natures Lab®.
- Get serious about Quinoa
In recognition of the crop’s high nutrient content, the UN named 2013 ‘International Quinoa Year’ With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre. Grown in South America (Peru, Chile and Bolivia) for thousands of years, quinoa formed the staple diet of the Incas and their descendants. In recent years, foodies in the UK and the US have heralded it as a superior alternative to bulgur wheat, couscous and rice. Though it often occupies a similar role to these grains in dishes, quinoa is actually in the same family as beets, chard and spinach. The Bottom Line: Quinoa is high in fibre, protein, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. What’s more, it’s low glycaemic index makes it an excellent choice for those on weight loss diets. Did you know that eating a bowl of quinoa a day may lower your risk of premature death from diseases like cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes by 17 percent. This was the finding from a Harvard School of Public Health study, which followed more than 367,000 people for about 14 years. To find out more, see our blog post on Quinoa -The Powerhouse Wholegrain
2. Coconut Oil – Not all oils are created equal
Very few foods are able to make it into the prestigious club of ‘superfoods’. Coconut oil is one of those foods.
With several health benefits including weight loss, better brain function, skin health, infection prevention, to name a few, it is no wonder this superfood got so much attention last year. At Nature’s Lab® we don’t see this trend relenting anytime soon as further research continues to reveal more benefits packed into this amazing nut. While we encourage you to consume more coconut oil this year, our experts at Natures Lab® only recommends organic, virgin coconut oil. Please avoid the refined versions as these have lost some of their nutritional value. Did you know that coconut oil is especially effective at reducing belly fat? For those who are interested in finding out more, we will post an article on coconut oil later in the year.
3. Matcha – The Bentley of Green Teas
While the majority of tea consumed around the world is black tea, in order to unlock the full potential derived from tea drinking, you may want to consider switching to green tea in 2017. The health benefits of green tea have been scientifically proven and established for several years now. However, the Matcha form of green tea has been shown to contain up to 3 times more antioxidants than the regular form of green tea. This is due to the differences in the methods of their preparation. Some of the health benefits of drinking matcha green tea regularly include: heart health, bone health, weight loss, eye health, cancer and diabetes. Our experts at Natures Lab® recommend buying the Japanese version of Matcha green tea as most other versions are contaminated with soil pollutants. You can also buy Matcha Green Tea in powder form to supercharge your smoothies!
4. Chia Seeds – Small but MIGHTY – The word chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength. These tiny black seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch to say the least. Despite their tiny size, just a single tablespoon of chia seeds is loaded with fibre, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and several micronutrients. They have also been shown to have a high level of antioxidants which makes them superb at maintaining health and wellness. Due to their high protein and fibre content, chia seeds have also proven to be useful in curbing appetites for those on weight loss regimens. Although chia seeds are well tolerated in most people, experts at Natures Lab® recommend no more than one and a half tablespoons twice a day for newbies. We also recommend considering adding the powder form to your smoothies and juice mixes. Look out for our blog post on Chia seeds later in the year.
5. Spiralizers – Vegetables with a twist! Do you struggle with eating your recommended daily intake of vegetables? Then struggle no more because we have the perfect solution for you…the spiralizer. This inexpensive device simply turns boring old vegetables into noodles, making them far easier to consume as well as making your average dish look like something from a Michelin-star restaurant. Last year, because of my spiralizer, I consumed far more vegetables than I would have done ordinarily, due to the fact that they were more appealing to the eye and much easier to consume in noodle form. Nature’s Lab® recommends vertically wound spiralizers to the horizontal ones as they waste less of your vegetables. Look out for our blog post on these wonderful devices later in the year, when we will also be sharing free spiralizing ideas on the blog.
From us here at Nature’s Lab®, we sincerely wish you a healthy and amazing year ahead. We will do our part as your health & wellness partners to provide you with great blog posts that will help you achieve optimal health goals for the year ahead. We do hope you will stay in touch with us as we embark on this adventure called 2017, armed with the science of nature. You can sign up to receive alerts on all our blog posts so as not to miss out.