There’s a very wise old saying that our Grannie’s used to say,
‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ but is there any truth in it? Well, like
much of the wisdom passed from one generation to the next, there
most certainly is and this little nugget packs a powerful nutritional
Our recipe today couldn’t be simpler…..good old fashioned stewed
apple. There’s nothing more comforting or delicious on a cool autumn day. You
can of course buy Bramley cooking apples (any apples will do) in the supermarket but ask around at Farmer’s markets as there are other sweeter varieties available. Also, if you know friends or relatives who have an apple tree and don’t ever harvest it (what a crime against nature!) then ask them if you could pick their fruits. You could always give them a ready -made desert in exchange!
Now to those appleicious benefits……
Research has shown that compounds in apples can be cancer protective, cardio protective and can even help prevent diabetes and other chronic illness. This is because of the high antioxidants and phytonutrients in apples. In particular, compounds known as FLAVONOIDS including Quercetin have been well researched and are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits.
Apples contain high amounts of quercetin and other beneficial compounds. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine meaning that it can naturally lower the effects of allergic symptoms such as watery eyes, coughs, runny nose, eczema etc. Studies suggest it may even be used as an anti-allergic drug.
Quercetin has also been researched for its' cancer protective capabilities. An interesting study looked at the effects of low dose Quercetin on cancer cell specific inhibition of cell cycle progression.
"Most of the studies which have shown the antitumor activity of quercetin were performed with a high concentration of quercetin, rangin from 25 μM to 200 μM. But pharmacokinetic research reveals that the peak concentration of quercetin in blood after food uptake reaches to a peak of around 10 μM [Gugler et al., 1975; Nielsen et al., 1997; Hollman et. al., 1997]. Therefore we focused on examining the effectiveness of physiologically relevant concentrations of quercetin, by administrating low amounts of quercetin every 24 h to breast cancer cells to mimic the conditions experienced by daily consumption. Here, we show that clinically relevant amounts of quercetin induce cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase through hypo-phosphorylation of pRb, which is accompanied by the induction of CDK inhibitor p21."
Another study published in the journal of Experimental Biology and Medicine found that quercetin helped reduce cellular death that is caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons in the brain.
Apples and the microbiome
Increasingly, researchers are realising the significance of the microbiome for all aspects of health. What we eat impacts the microbiome and influences the bacteria species that live in our guts. Apples are just one food that can be beneficial in assisting the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut. In an interesting study healthy adults noted an increase of Bifidobacteria species and Lactobacillus on a diet of 2 apples a day for 2 weeks and apple consumption was found to have a beneficial effect on the intestinal environment.
Apples also contain pectin and are a good source of dietary fibre. Leave the skin on and there's even more! Most people in the UK currently don't consume enough dietary fibre. We should be aiming to consume about 10 fruits and vegetables a day to get the amount of fibre and phytonutrients for optimal health. Including apples in your diet is a good place to start.
Vitamic C, another important antioxidant is provided for in abundance and researchers at Harvard Medical School advise that just one apple gives us 11% of our daily requirement.
Cardiovascular health and Diabetes
Since Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease are on the increase we need to take heed of Grannie’s message as not only can polyphenols help regulate blood sugar, eating just one apple a day can reduce total cholesterol and LDL.
The good news is that the Nutritional Value does not reduce greatly on cooking and if you have a sensitive tummy and can’t tolerate a raw apple, cooking in a variety of ways can aid digestibility.
Stewed Apple Recipe
How to prepare…..ideally organic and with the skin on as the skin contains up to 3-4 times the amount of phytonutrients as the flesh.
```6 Bramley cooking apples (or apples of choice preferably grown organically)
1/2 cup water
Peel and core the apples and chop them into small evenly sized
Put all the ingredients in a covered, heavy-bottomed pan and
cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Cook until soft with rough
shapes, no longer identifiable as apple slices. The colour should be a russet
brown with the cinnamon effect.
According to Norse mythology a magic apple can keep us young
forever and I think you can see why! Well, I’m not taking any chances…..Make ‘an
apple a day’ an essential part of your health insurance!
Going through chemotherapy can mean losing your hair, eyelashes,
eyebrows, even fingernails and skin is left sore, itchy and dry. But women don't stop being women just
because they happen to have cancer.
Beauty Despite Cancer's range of safe 100% natural skincare and
cosmetics was designed specifically for those undergoing chemo/radiotherapy and
This range was designed by Jennifer Young following a request
from her local cancer department at University Hospital North Staffordshire and so the wonderful Defiant
Beauty range was born! Jennifer has also responded to women’s requests for
support on a range of topics from fashion to nutrition with a fabulous online
magazine at Beauty Despite Cancer.
PLEASE share this information so that someone's mum, aunt, sister, friend can not only find some
comfort in the midst of challenging treatment but can once again look in the
mirror and find themselves!
As many of you will know this month is Sober October! With Christmas and its many
parties just around the corner October is the perfect time to put down the wine
and pick up the water. Giving up booze is an easy way to get rid of a whole
host of empty calories and shed the pounds with little effort.
And the number of calories may surprise you as per 100ml beer contains 41 calories and wine 77 calories with
spirits a whopping 250 calories. Bearing in mind that many men and women drink
pints of beer and the fact that wine glass sizes have crept up from 125ml to
175ml and even 250ml is now given as standard, we’re adding a shocking number
of unnecessary calories to already overburdened bodies!. I remember when having
a bottle of wine was seen as a major treat. Now we drop them into the shopping
trolley all too easily, but it’ll take more than a walk around the supermarket
to walk off the damage!
Think of the benefits…..It will also help you to get a more restful sleep and we all
know how important our beauty sleep is! Who doesn't want clearer skin? Swap your wine for a sparkling water and a slice (or even two if you really want to push the boat out!) of lemon or
lime! Or at home go for your favourite herbal or fruit tea and if you don't
have a favourite then get experimenting! If you are really going for it then
why not try a detox tea to help cleanse the body and give you beautiful glowing
skin. Get your friends and family in on the act too as the best way to stick at
it is to do it as a group. To get the most out of your October challenge why
not swap chatting over tea and biscuits for going for a walk with your best
friend? Wrap up warm and head out on a lovely autumnal day and crunch through
Not only will you shed pounds this month you will also save
them. So why not treat yourself to a facial or dinner out with your friends at
the end of the month to celebrate your achievement!
Coconoil is the brainchild of founder Garry Stiven, who visited Sri Lanka in the
immediate aftermath of the 2004 tsunami to help with emergency relief work. When
Garry, a former field director for Save the Children who has spent many years
living abroad, saw the extent of the devastation, he knew it would take many
years for the worst-hit areas to recover.
Garry used his experience from previous events, such as Hurricane Fifi and the
Guatemalan earthquake to help with a number of immediate relief projects. But he
wanted to find a way to help the Sri Lanka people in the longer term and he
turned his attention to finding an export market for the country to bring in new
revenue and boost the economy.
Reading a lifestyle magazine one evening Garry chanced upon an article about the health
benefits of coconut oil and its increasing popularity in California and an idea
Garry researched coconut oil production in Sri Lanka, discovering
that most of the country’s exported oil was processed and sold to major food
manufacturers. The virgin coconut oil had a limited market for cosmetic
production in Italy and was not available in the UK.
Garry found a supplier,
returned to the UK and, together with a colleague , has become the only importer
to the UK of Sri Lanka virgin coconut oil, under the brand name Coconoil.
Garry Stiven continues to fundraise for Sri Lanka on a personal basis, raising
money to help replace the school for the villages of Mawella and Hanwella, both
of which were destroyed by the tsunami. Children from the villages lost their
families and their homes and the creation of a new school will go some way to
helping them to rebuild their lives.
Like all things nutrition we have to be careful of our sources! Coconut oil is widely
used in cooking and the processing of food. However, this will usually be the
RBD coconut oil, i.e. Refined, Bleached and Deodorised (oh
Virgin coconut oil ...
remains the healthiest form of coconut oil and offers many benefits to those who
incorporate it into their diets. It can only be produced with fresh coconut meat
and must not come into any contact with chemicals or heat. This allows the
virgin coconut oil to retain its fresh scent and flavour. With a long shelf life
and large amounts of nutrients, it is certainly the tastiest and healthiest
choice for all.
is certified virgin coconut oil and the wonderful thing about it is that not
only will you be making an important investment in your own life and health but also
in that of the Tsunami victims!
You’d have to be nuts to not include this health promoting fat in your diet. What is this marvel you speak of…? COCONUT OIL!!
Coconut oil is fast becoming the most talked about fat in health blogs. And not surprising when you consider its unique health benefits and versatile uses…..
Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride making it unique among fats as most of the fats in our diet are long chain fatty acids. These are heart protecting saturated fats preventing heart disease According to expert Dr Bruce
Fife coconut oil also has antimicrobial effects in the body which means when taken internally it has the ability to kill disease causing bacteria, viruses and fungi. In addition it can be used topically on the skin to prevent
infections. Try it for ringworm, athlete’s foot and nail fungus!
It can also be used as a moisturiser for face and body and even hair! Something we want you to think about at Nourishing Insights is what you put onto your skin. This is because what we put onto our skin is absorbed by the
skin which is how certain medicines in the Pharmaceutical industry work through trans-dermal absorption e.g. nicotine patches and hormonal replacement. Just have a look at the ingredients on the back of most toiletries from creams to shampoos. It’s enough to make your hair stand on end and your skin come out in a rash just thinking about it! At Nourishing Insights we’ve done the hard work for you and if it doesn’t pass our stringent quality standards we don’t recommend it! But we are particularly keen on using foods as beauty products from your own kitchen (more on that later!) which is why we are delighted to be promoting coconut oil specifically Coconoil on our site.
The number of health benefits to coconut oil are countless and we will be blogging about each of these in turn. But just for starters and believe me this is only the start….Here are a few of the features of Coconoil which lead to those amazing health benefits....
If you would like to develop your knowledge an excellent book we highly recommend is ‘The Coconut Miracle’ by Dr Bruce Fife and an excellent website is www.coconutresearchcentre.org which pulls together all of the available medical research on everything from reducing that bad cholesterol and increasing the good stuff to reducing inflammation and even balancing blood sugar. In short, if you are not using this oil as part of your daily cooking you are missing out on so many health benefits. Just use it where you would use other fats and oils in cooking, as a spread or add a spoon to your porridge in the morning! Recipes coming soon….
If you would like to buy some Coconoil please visit our shop :)
'Mirror mirror on the wall who is the healthiest of them all'?
Mirror: ‘What is this health that you speak of? I only reflect what I can see on the outside. Soft skin, bright eyes, glossy hair, shiny teeth, that kind of stuff’
Of course what we see on the outside is a reflection of what’s going on inside and even more what we choose to put inside. But what we put inside isn’t just food. It’s the music we listen to, the books we read, the
paintings we look at or even paint. It’s how we care for and nourish mind, body and soul that brings true health. Most of us like to think we aim for pretty good health but what exactly is it? Is it just ‘not being ill’? Or is it
something much more? Could it be that health has something to do with feeling absolutely fabulous (and no I don’t mean drinking champagne and saying darling allot, although that does have its place…. darling!) OR….do we all just settle for something in between?
At Nourishing Insights we would like to take you on a journey to find your truest reflection of you in all your glory! We will lead you through subjects as diverse as music to massage and of course there’s that minor issue
of what you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner…oh and even what you snack on in between!
Who doesn’t feel better after listening to the right music and if you get that toe tapping and those hips going with uninhibited abandonment you could be on the way to recovery! Come to think of it, who doesn’t feel better
after a nice cup of tea? If you’re British you’ll know that a cup of 'builders' at the right moment is like Prozac to the power of ten! Ah… I remember my first cup of tea after my first baby came into the world. A little slice of heaven at the end of a very long day (oh and the baby was wonderful too!) However, there are many teas which can support us in our quest for optimal health and we will be guiding you through them and even showing you how to make your own from the garden!
And if you feel like Alice down the rabbit hole when you find yourself dropped in the world that is super (or not so super!) market wondering whether to turn this way, or that way, low fat, good fat, low sugar, no sugar?? Nourishing Insights will be holding a looking glass over all of these issues so that when you are faced with these decisions you can choose based on information not marketing!
Of course our Farming friends will never be too far away. From organic veg to grass fed meat to growing your own tomatoes we will have something to say which will lead you to life changing nutrition and optimal
health. Come along to our first workshop to find out more…….
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