CategoryHealth

These Are a Few of My Favourite Teas!

“When hunger strikes, when workouts sting, when I’m feeling saaaaad, I simply drink one of my favourite teas and then I don’t feeeeel sooooo baaaaaad!” (yes, I made that up.  Catchy, yes?  You love it!)

I love tea!  I love drinking it, brewing it and smelling it.  ‘Green Tea’ by Elizabeth Arden is one of my favourite scents!  I like to browse tea sites and fantasise about teas I might like to try.  Yes, I’m that into tea.

Let’s start with my FAVOURITE tea right now.

Chai Latte

Chai is a traditional Indian tea (‘chai’ means ‘tea’ in Indian) and has many health benefits. The usual base for chai is black tea to which spices are added (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, cardamom and nutmeg).  The tea is then blended with milk and honey or sugar to make a sweet, creamy drink.  You can also buy the chai spice blend and have it without black tea for a non-caffeinated version.

The spices in chai have been used in Eastern medicine for centuries :

  • Ginger is excellent for a variety of ailments including sore throats, cold and flu symptoms, upset stomach, nausea and aches and pains
  • Cloves are good for promoting proper circulation
  • Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels and is also known as a stimulant
  • Cardamon is used for easing indigestion and has calming properties
  • Pepper aids digestion
  • Nutmeg helps lower blood pressure and sooth a stomach ache as well as stop diarrhea and (in low doses) helps detoxify the body

Chai is definitely better for you if you blend it yourself rather than buy from your local Coffee Shop so you can control the sweetness.  Look for the chai spice blend in health food stores and have it with skim milk to save calories.

Green Tea

Read this.  Nuff said.

 

Chrysanthemum Tea

My friend Nat and I tried this at work the other day.  One of our Asian colleagues swears by it and made a big pot for Nat to try so she poured a cup for me.  It’s naturally quite sweet and very herbal tasting.  It’s really refreshing and has a truckload of health benefits!  I’ll definitely be adding it to my tea rotation!

The following are the health benefits attributed to chrysanthemum tea:

  • May help lower blood pressure and consequently also help in the treatment of other related ailments, i.e. angina and other heart problems
  • May help relieve headaches
  • May help in the treatment of colds, fever and the flu
  • May help in the treatment of tinnitus
  • May help in the treatment of such skin problems as acne, boils and sores
  • Is believed to contribute to clear vision
  • May help in the alleviation of dizziness
  • Is believed to contribute to alertness

Tea

I touched on the benefits of ginger in one of my earlier posts however to recap:

Ginger is good for:

  • Upset stomach
  • Cleansing the colon
  • Keeping menstrual cramps under control
  • Improving circulation
  • Regulating the metabolism
  • Regulating blood sugar levels
  • Improving mental alertness

You can buy ginger tea in tea bags from your local supermarket however it’s so much nicer when you make it yourself!  Want to know how?  Read this.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is so delicious.  I love how it’s an instant mouth freshener too (especially good after meals containing onion!).  It instantly perks me up and livens my senses.  Just inhaling that zingy scent gets me all revved up! Woo hoo!  (Too much?  Sorry.)

Peppermint tea is great for digestion issues and soothes a bloated belly.  It’s also known to be an appetite suppressant so it could even aid in weight loss.

It has a wide variety of uses which includes anything from stress relief to boosting immunity.  You can read more about the wonderful benefits of peppermint tea and how to make your own by clicking on the image above.

 

I also love black tea which is choc-full of antioxidants (as are most teas).   Most teas are generally good for you and I find they are a great hunger distraction.  Whenever I feel the usual afternoon peckishness come on I reach for one of my many packets of tea and I forget that I was hungry in the first place!

Are you crazy for tea too?  What’s your favourite tea?

 

Cheering for Sour Cherry Juice!

About a week ago I posted the following on my Facebook page (you should totally press ‘like’!  You won’t regret it, I swear!)

A recent study found that insomniacs who drank two 235ml glasses of sour cherry juice a day for 2 weeks fell asleep 20 minutes faster and slept more soundly through the night.

Of course, being the health nut that I amI have been on the lookout for sour cherry juice ever since.  I was lurking around in my local fruit and vegetable shop yesterday (you know, admiring the lettuce, smelling the coriander, as you do) and I noticed they had it for $1.99 for a liter. I wasn’t sure if that was a reasonable price or not but all I knew was that I was going to buy that juice and by god I was going to blog about it.

First comes the research.  I did a little Google on the interwebs thingy and it told me many interesting things about sour cherry juice besides the fact that it is good for insomniacs!  I shall present a few of them to you in bullet point for your reading pleasure and ease:

  • Drinking a glass of cherry juice a day offers the same health benefits as eating 23 portions of fruit and vegetables!
  • 250ml of the juice contained more antioxidants than five portions of peas, tomatoes, water melon, carrots and banana!
  • Sour cherry juice may offer relief to people suffering from arthritis or gout!
  • Drinking sour cherry juice immediately before and after exercise can alleviate muscle pain!

(Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1062831/Cherry-juice-hailed-superfood-equivalent-23-portions-fruit-single-glass.html#ixzz17brFme99)

So after reading all the fantastic benefits it was time to pour myself a glass:

Firstly, I love the gorgeous deep read colour.  Made me think I was drinking a glass of True Blood.  I felt incredibly vampire-ish for a good moment there.

Taking the first sip I noted the tartness.  Not quite as tart as cranberry juice but still a lovely sour taste.  Sour yet sweet.  A nice balance of flavour.  This is beginning to sound like a wine tasting!  “Mmm yes yes, full bodied yet not too heavy on the nose.  Lingers on the plate.  A sensory delight!”.

What I’m trying to get across here is that I love the taste.  Kind of like a cross between apple juice and cranberry juice.  Delicious.  Could even make a great accompaniment to vodka!  Not that I encourage or endorse drinking but I don’t mind the old celebratory tipple! Moderation is key!

I’m not sure if I am feeling any benefits yet, this is only the second day I have been drinking it, but I will try drinking it before and after my training session in the morning and will advise you all if I see any difference.  Even if I don’t notice any benefits I will still continue drinking it!

Have you tried sour cherry juice?   Noticed any benefits?

Fantastic Flaxseed Oil!

I’ve started adding a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to my morning smoothie (I’ve ditched my omelette breakfast in favour of the easy and super convenient breakfast smoothie – 1 banana, ½ cup of lite milk, 2 tablespoons of organic non-fat natural yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of LSA, 1 teaspoon of honey) and I have decided, for your own benefit, that you should too.  I’m always looking out for you!  And don’t you forget it!

You don’t HAVE to have it in a smoothie, you could drizzle it over a salad or over vegetables.   You could mix it in water or freshly squeezed juice and gulp it down.   You can even get it in capsule form.   Whatever way you take it doesn’t matter but you SHOULD take it.   And here’s why:

  • It shortens muscle recovery time which means less pain for you – yippee!
  • It increases the body’s production of energy and increases stamina – look at you go!
  • Assists in the weight loss process – that’s what we are after!
  • It stimulates brown fat cells and increases your metabolic rate making it easier to burn fat – yes please!
  • It improves the absorption of calcium – hence why it’s great in a smoothie!
  • It may improve the function of insulin – stay away diabetes!
  • It helps in the healing of bruises, strengthens nails, improves eyesight, improves liver function, keeps dry skin at bay, treats dandruff and dull hair and may even relieve some cases of PMS – yes, yes and yes!
  • Plus many more benefits! Have a Google yourself!

I’m not sure why I haven’t got on to this sooner.   I was definitely aware of its existence but had not thought to purchase it until I saw it sitting on a shelf in the health food aisle at my local Woolworths.  “Ah yes” I thought, “that stuff is good for you! I must have it!”.  Hence, my love affair has started.  Even if it does only HALF the things it claims, I will be happy.  Who wouldn’t be!

Do you take flaxseed oil? How do you take yours?

Treating the Common Cold Naturally

Whilst I do suffer from hayfever at the turn of the seasons, I actually haven’t been sick with a cold or flu in a good while.  I find exercising, eating well and generally treating my body right keeps illnesses at bay however even doing all of these things hasn’t seem to stop me from catching some nasties from somewhere.  I blame sitting in an air-conditioned office for this – a haven for germs, circulating round and round creeping into people’s bodies when they are certainly not invited in nor wanted… it’s disgusting.   And totally rude.

So, as I sit here sniffling away and coughing into my lunch, I wonder what I can do to make myself feel better and quickly… Here’s where my trusty friend Google enters the equation!

  • Essential thyme oil in a vapouriser helps ease a sore throat as does making a tea with dried thyme, oregano or sage and a little honey. Add a teaspoon of the herb, strain, add honey and take every hour or as needed.  You can keep a jug of it in the fridge for a day or two.
  • Peppermint can clear blocked noses or sinuses.  Have a cup of peppermint tea or try adding a few tea bags to your bath and inhale the minty aroma.
  • Add a small knob of ginger to a cup of boiling water.  Steep for 5 minutes, drain and add a little honey if desired.
  • Make a big pot of chicken and vegetable soup.  Add loads of garlic and ginger as well as hot peppers (cayenne, curry and chillies).  This ancient home remedy is packed with antiviral and antiseptic properties and helps reduce inflammation.
  • Heat up a little vinegar in a bowl and inhale.  This helps clear chest congestion.

These are things that can definitely be done easily at home rather than take nasty over-the-counter medications.

The next thing that I have to consider is how will this sickness impact my exercise regime?  I haven’t let it stop me so far, although I have been performing at a low or moderate intensity.  Let’s face it, it was just a sore throat at the beginning of the week, I don’t think that’s enough to stop me.  But now that I have developed a chesty cough as well as some aches and pains what’s the deal?

The general rule of thumb is if you have symptoms above the neck, and feel up to exercise, then give it a go.  Exercise can sometimes help you feel better when you have a scratchy throat or sniffily nose.  Use common sense though, if you are ten minutes into your session and feel like hell then stop.

If you have symptoms below the neck like a hacking or rattly cough, fever, body aches and pains then it is probably in your best interests to rest.  More common sense, right?

So, I rode my bike in this morning to work (8km) and struggled quit a bit so I’m now definitely ruling out riding it home.  It can stay chained up in the carpark for now.  I hate missing sessions but I also have to listen to my body and my body totally wants to be horizontal right now.  Which is what I’m planning on doing for the rest of the day and night.

What’s your favourite home remedies for treating sickness?

Healthy Diet Additions

Just like Charlie Sheen, I have one speed – GO! (Are we over him yet? Or are we all still winning?)

Your faithful road-tester is at it again! I’m constantly on the look out for new and exciting things I can add to my diet and last week I purchased chia seeds and agave nectar. Look out yo! I’m on fire!

There’s been a lot of buzz around chia seeds lately but I have to admit, I didn’t really know what they were all about. Bad, BAD health blogger! Slap on the wrist!

My trainer gave me a sample to try and it was at that point that I did some research on what these little seed’s benefits were.

After Googling (pretty much my favourite thing to do in the whole wide world), the first thing that stood out to me was that these little suckers hold up to 12 times their own weight in fluid. So you can add them to juices, smoothies and even water and they will thicken and form a gel like consistency. For this reason, when you ingest them, they make you feel fuller than what you actually are. That’s a real positive when it comes to trying to lose weight! Banish hunger for good!

There are also packed with:

  • Omega-3′s
  • Antioxidants
  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Phospherous
  • Potassium
  • Protein

I bought 1kg of chia seeds from CHIA Life for $20 + postage. I considered that quite a reasonable price compared to other online sellers! They arrived within 3 days too – speedy!

Apart from adding them to juices, smoothies or water, you can also sprinkle them on salads, stir-fries or cereal. In fact, because they take on the taste of whatever they are paired with, you can add them to almost anything! Apparently you can bake with them in place of butter! Goodbye saturated fat and clogged arteries! I won’t miss you in the slightest! Maybe I’ll get around to baking more cakes and slices? Probably not, let’s face it, it’s not really on the ‘Lose these last pesky kilos’ plan that I’m currently on!

Agave Nectar

This deliciously sweet and golden sticky nectar comes from the agave (uh-gah-vay) cactus and can be used in place of sugar or sweeteners. It is made up of 90% fructose sugars and 10% glucose sugars. Honey has 33% glucose sugars so I have been using agave in place of honey in my morning smoothies.

It has 16 calories per teaspoon, the same as granulated sugar, but because fructose is 42% sweeter to the human brain than granulated sugars you only need to use the smallest amount to get that sweetness hit.

Also, because agave is mainly fructose, and not sucrose like granulated sugar, it does not result in huge spikes in blood sugar levels therefore it has been reported as being a suitable sugar replacement for diabetics and the insulin resistant (although no conclusive studies have been conducted).

Like most health food products there has been a fair amount of debate around the benefits of agave nectar as, after all, it is still a sweetener and we all know too much sweetener leads to weight gain and other health problems. I recommend buying organic, good quality agave nectar and use sparingly for the best results.

Have you tried chia seeds or agave nectar?  What do you think of them?

 

LuckyYou Juice Cleanse

Last year I wrote a post about detoxing. The reason I wrote that post is because I wanted people to understand that many of those detox diets that we see on TV or read about in magazines are marketed at people as quick weight loss solutions. One diet, for example, asks you to consume nothing but a water, lemon and cayenne pepper drink for a certain period of time in order to shed kilos. Ths is an unhealthy and dangerous approach to weight loss. Do we know this? Good.

But not all are like that which is why I was initially attracted to LuckyYou. LuckyYou is a juice cleanse program that claims to:

Rebalance the body
Oxygenate
Alkalize the system
Give digestion a rest
Remove acidic build – up in the colon, to encourage proper nutrient absorption
Re-hydrate the system
Create better eating habits

For about 3 weeks now I have hit the weight loss game hard. I have trained like a demon and I have eaten a diet rich in protein but probably lacking on the fruit and vegetable front. I have definitely felt the strain of this (fatigued, dry skin, bloated… blocked up *cough*) and wanted to do something special for myself, take a bit of time out, pump some goodness into my body and veg out – you know, lay like vegetables, be still like broccoli (10 points if you guess the movie quote!).

LuckYou’s juices are live (meaning raw and un-pasteurised) – they retain MORE vitamins and minerals, and contain enzymes. This ensures that you are drinking a product packed with power versus just another liquid.

Most of the juices are chunky and thick (not to mention delicious) so it definitely does not feel like some crazy liquid fast. LuckyYou also encourages you to CHEW your juices like you would food as chewing is what begins the digestive process.

I chose to do just a one day mini cleanse but I will definitely be following LuckyYou’s recommendations of slowly introducing meat, dairy and grains after the cleanse is over. Tomorrow I’ll stick to luscious, seasonal fruit and colourful vegetable salads. The next day I will start adding grains like quinoa and brown rice. The following day I will be adding back animal products like chicken, fish and dairy.

I’m really looking forward to feeling the benefits of this cleanse which include feeling clear, light and full of energy. Many people experience physical and mental rejuvenation, clearer skin, restful sleep, elevated mood and sex drive. Wink wink. Grrrr.

Here’s how the day went down:

8:30am – I wake up. I go downstairs and have a class of water followed by a warm glass of water with the juice of one lemon. I resolve then and there that I will be doing this when I wake up every morning from now onwards as it immediately makes me feel hydrated and awake.

9:00am – I take my aloe vera shot. This is supposed to help cleanse the colon and blood stream.

10:00am – I have my first juice which is a delightfully thick and filling green smoothie.

11:00am – I take a walk to the fruit and vegetable market to stock up on fresh produce for the next few days. I don’t know why but this makes me EXTREMELY excited. BROCCOLI! PUMPKIN! BEETROOT! OH MY! Note: the excitment subsides as I realise my tummy is grumbling and I’m feeling hungry…

12:00pm – I have my second juice which is labelled Green B. It fills my belly and makes me feel full.

2:00pm – I have my third juice which is a spicy lemonade. It is zingy and refreshing. I do have a bit of a headache by this stage but it’s all good as I’m just chilling on the couch watching back-to-back episodes of American Idol that I have recorded!

4:00pm – I’m really quite hungry now and the headache is full throttle. I slurp (I mean chew) my fourth juice which is vibrant red. It’s delicious and satisfying. The headache starts to ease almost immediately. I decide to have a bath to unwind.

6:00pm – After my bath I am absolutely exhausted and collapse in a heap on the lounge. I think the combination of a very hot bathroom and no food was a bad idea. I make Justin fetch my Green A juice from the fridge and a few sips in I start to feel better again. I CAN get through this!

8:00pm – It’s cashew milk time baby! And my goodness it is delicious. Blended cashews and medjool dates – who knew the combination would be so amazing!

8:45pm – I actually hop into bed. I snuggle up with my pillows and doona and read a book until I doze off at about 9:30pm. I’m hungry but not starving and today has definitely been doable. I’ve surprised myself!

6:15am – I wake up feeling light and relaxed. My tum feels nice and flat and my head is clear. The whites of my eyes are gleaming and my skin looks clear and plump. I’ve been cleansed! Hallelujah!

I’ve really enjoyed the LuckyYou cleanse and would recommend it to anyone. Heidy, the owner, is so helpful and gives you plenty of advice before, during and after the cleanse. They also have a firm focus on being kind to the environment which is an added advantage over other cleanses.

I’ll definitely be doing this again in the future! Thank you LuckYou!

What’s In My Fridge?

Happy Fridge Day Dudes & Dudettes!  Oops, I mean Friday! ;-)

The most important part of losing weight is nutrition so I always make sure my fridge is stocked with lots of  goodness so I can quickly and easily prepare healthy meals.  So, I thought I would do a short post on what you can usually find lurking in my fridge!

This is riveting business people, strap in your seatbelts and feel the G’s!  Or is that the cheese?  I’m never quite sure…

Top shelf – butter, lindt dark chocolate

Second shelf – ham, salad I prepared for lunch, parmesan, light tasty cheese, pre-made quinoa g

Third shelf – apples, strawberries, margarine (Justin’s!), fresh ginger & garlic, mini frittatas

Fourth shelf – grapes, cucumber, tomatoes, bag of lettuce, fresh thyme, cherry tomatoes

Crisper – oh god, where to begin… asparagus, more lettuce, baby spinach, carrots, capsicum, avocado, sweet potato, pumpkin, plums, zucchini, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot… Just a whole bunch of fresh fruit and veg!

Fridge door – olive tapenade, low-fat whole egg mayonnaise, horseradish, dijon mustard, hot english mustard, wholegrain mustard, capers, bottles of low alcohol sparkling wine (I bought a whole box about 6 months ago and I have barely made a dent in it!), flaxseed oil, lemon juice, jam, pizza sauce, satay sauce, rice milk, sparkling water, still water

Freezer – chicken breast, chicken thigh, chicken tenderloins, lean cuts of pork, beef and lamb, lean mince, frozen soups, frozen berries, puff pastry

What are your healthy fridge staples?

Recently Trialled Health Products!

I’ve been meaning to post about these for a while now but I have been time poor lately.  Okay, poor choice of words… I’ve not been time efficient.  Argh, alright alright, I’ve been outright lazy.  OKAY?!  Gosh you people, always on my back.  I joke, I joke.  ;-)

I’m going to make this really easy for you (and me) and just give you some bullet-pointed notes on each product.  Then, hopefully, you can make an educated decision on whether you would like to try them or not!  I’m hoping it’s a big fat YES because they are each equally wonderful!

Coconut Oil

  • Coconut oil has anti-microbial and anti-viral properties and is even being used to help treat AIDS patients
  • It is known to contain a unique form of saturated fat that helps prevent heart disease, stroke, and hardening of the arteries
  • It has been shown to improve digestion and strengthen the immune system
  • It is used as an energy booster and enhances the performance of athletes
  • It is great for weight loss as the fat in coconut oil is used to produce energy and speed up metabolism, rather than be stored as body fat
  • It is fantastic as a massage oil or body moisturiser
  • Start off taking a teaspoon daily and slowly work up to 3 – 4 tablespoons
  • You can add it to smoothies or cook / bake with it (I recently used it in a thai inspired soup and it was delicious!)

I buy my coconut oil products from Nature Pacific.

Vital Greens

Vital Greens sent me some samples to try recently and I think this is an amazing product!

  • It’s a great tasting green powder that you mix into your favourite milk, juice, smoothie or water
  • Contains 76 all-natural ingredients and is known as a ”super food”
  • It has all the benefits of spirulina, chlorella and other super foods in the blend as well as herbs, enzymes, probiotics and minerals
  • It’s free from gluten, allergens, additives, artificial flavours, dairy, wheat and other nasties
  • It helps detoxify, energise, alkalise, nourish and support your system

Why not visit their site and give it a go for yourself?

Whey Protein Isolate

I was so thankful to receive a sample of this product and will definitely be using this for the long-term, that’s for sure.  I’ve even got Justin on to it!  I’d been looking for a good quality whey protein isolate product for a little while and when I stumbled across Double Barrel Nutrition’s site I knew I had hit the jackpot.

  • Contains no added fillers or flavourings – just 100% high quality whey protein
  • I blend it into my morning smoothie and flavour it with a little honey
  • Whey protein is derived from milk during the process in which milk is turned into cheese
  • Protein is found naturally in every day dairy products, eggs, and soy, but the quality is not comparable to whey protein powder nor is it as easy to use
  • Studies have shown that whey protein is the best concentration to provide optimal performance
  • Whey protein contains BCAA’s which can be utilised directly by the muscle cells, so they are used at a high rate during exercise
  • These BCAA’s have shown in studies to have the greatest positive effect on muscle protein synthesis among all of the amino acids
  • Have a read of this site for lots of useful info on Whey Protein – www.wheyoflife.org

Do you use any of the above products or products that are similar?  What do you think of them?

Project Tighten Up: Update 3 & Macular Degeneration Week

Can you believe that we are at the start of week 4 of Project Tighten Up?  I know I can’t!  Who’s been going strong still?  Don’t forget to share your progress at the bottom of this post!

My trainer is on leave for two weeks (woe is me!) but I have a trick up my sleeve.  My local Crossfit gym, Crossfit Kensignton, has a fantastic trial offer where you can try 3 weeks of crossfit for only $50!  I have always wanted to try it so this is the perfect time.  Not sure what crossfit is?  Check this out:

Hardcore yeah?  That’s why I think I’ll LOVE it.  I’m really excited and a little bit nervous!  I do similar stuff with my trainer so it shouldn’t be too hard.  Right?  Right??  Eep. I have my introductory session tonight so I will do a review post later in the week.

I am also focusing on being kind to my eyes as well as my thighs (boom tish) this week (22 – 28 May) as it is Macular Degeneration Week.  I’m extremely interested in eye health as, not many of you may know this, but I wear glasses all day every day at work!  Yup – I’m a regular four eyes!

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of vision loss and severe vision loss in Australia, affecting an estimated one in seven people.  Although the condition may not make itself apparent until later in life, preventative measures can be started much earlier.

Grant Fisher, Budget Eyewear National Eyecare Director says: “AMD already affects a large number of people in Australia, and as the population ages, more and more people will suffer. There are a number of steps everyone can take right now to limit the onset of the condition, some of which are as simple as stopping smoking and wearing sunglasses in bright light. It’s also important to have regular eye tests. Medicare covers a visit to the optometrist every two years, so even if you are on a budget, there’s no excuse!”

Grant suggests focusing on nutritious food to help prevent the disease. A poor diet with a high level of fats and low-level of vitamins can make AMD worse, so give junk food a break, and make sure you are eating the right vitamins and minerals.

Research suggests that diets rich in carotenoids found in leafy green vegetables, such as raw carrot, broccoli and raw spinach can reduce the risk of AMD. A high-level boost of nutrients zeaxanthin and lutein may slow progression of the condition. Lutein is found in egg yolk, while zeaxanthin is found in small amounts in most fruits and vegetables. I also wrote a post last year about eye health – check it out here.

All of these foods are featured on my Project Tighten Up Meal Plan so whilst we are working on tightening up our bods we can also rest assured that we are doing good by our eyes too (all the better to SEE our progress with my dears!).

Eye tests are painless and can easily diagnose MD, and best of all they are free with the cost covered by Medicare. When was the last time you had your eyes tested?

How has your progress been over the last few weeks?  Also, has anyone tried Crossfit?

How To Be ‘Salt-Wise’

We all know that too much salt is not good for us but how much is too much and how can we do what’s best for our food and our health at the same time?

The National Heart Foundation recommends a one and a half teaspoon limit for all Australians and one teaspoon for those individuals with high blood pressure.  Currently, the average Australian is consuming almost double that recommendation!

If we consume too much salt the risk is that we could develop high blood pressure.  People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke so it definitely pays to be more ‘salt-wise’.

So, how do we become more ‘salt-wise’?  Some tips:

  • Be aware of the amount of salt you are consuming – you need to use the right salt, in the right amount, for the right dish.
  • Abandon the salt shaker – when cooking you should use your fingers and hands to gradually add salt in small increments, tasting as you go.  This way there is no need to add more salt at the dinner table.
  • Be aware of ‘hidden’ salt – read labels and make a conscious decision to choose foods lower in sodium.  The Heart Foundation recommends products that have a sodium below 120mg per 100g.
  • Take some iodine – it  is essential for healthy function of the thyroid gland and the recommended daily requirement for most adults is 150 micrograms.
  • Use a good quality natural sea salt for general purpose use.

Check out the book below to learn more about using salt healthily and the different types of salt needed for different dishes.

Now that you know more about being ‘salt-wise’ will you change your salt habits?  I know I definitely will be!