7 Health Benefits of Rhubarb

Written by: Helen

Welcome to Fit Food Friday.  I thought it would be good to look at a vegetable that is in season now and is delicious.  I will link to some recipes at the end and, yes, one will definitely be a crumble.  Can you beat a rhubarb crumble?  I think not.

Here are 7 reasons why you should be eating rhubarb.

 

1) Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight then this is a useful vegetable.  It is not only low in calories but it is high in fibre.  Foods that are high in fibre help us to feel fuller for longer and can prevent snacking.

 

2) Digestion

The amount of fibre also means that it is good for our digestion.  Fibre encourages healthy bowel movements and keeps our digestive systems in good working order.

 

3) Alzheimer’s Disease

It provides good amounts of vitamin K.  Vitamin K is an important nutrient involved with brain health.  It stimulates our cognitive activity and can help to delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimers.  You can find more info about that here

 

4) Antioxidants

To read my article about the role of antioxidants in the body click here.

Rhubarb has high amounts of antioxidants.  The redder colour stems have more vitamin A than greener stems.  Antioxidants are an important part of a healthy diet because they protect our bodies and help to fight off diseases including heart disease and cancer.

 

5) Cancer Prevention

This leads me on to number 5.  As mentioned above the antioxidants make it a good food in the fight against cancer.  Antioxidants battle against free radicals and free radicals cause cells to mutate or die.

 

6) Healthy Skin

As well as containing vitamin A, rhubarb also contains compounds such as carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein.  These convert into vitamin A inside the body.  Vitamin A is important for skin health (It is also an important nutrient for healthy eyesight so rhubarb helps with this too).  Free radicals cause some of the signs of ageing and, as mentioned, the antioxidants in rhubarb help to combat free radicals.

 

7) Bone Health

As well as helping combat Alzheimer’s, vitamin K also plays a role in bone health.  It aids our bones with growth and repair.  This nutrient combined with the calcium in rhubarb means that this vegetable is a great food for our bones and teeth.

And now that you know how good it is for you, here are some recipes.  Just click on the recipe to be taken to the link.  Do you eat rhubarb?  Let me know below.  Thanks for reading 🙂

Rhubarb Cordial

Rhubarb cordial

 

Oaty Rhubarb Crumble

rhubarb crumble

 

Rhubarb Fool

Rhubarb Fool

 

Live Love Fruit

Organic Facts

Nutrition and you

 

Fit Food Friday: Asparagus

Written by: Helen

Happy Fit Food Friday! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and today is about asparagus.  Asparagus is a sign that spring is near and , who would’ve thought it, has a pretty interesting history.  One of the oldest surviving recipe books Apicius’s third century AD ‘De re coquinaria book III’ has a recipe for cooking it.  Romans froze it high in the alps and coined an expression ‘faster than cooking asparagus’ when meaning quick action.  In England we don’t appear to have paid it much attention until 1538.

But that’s enough of the history.  On to why you should be eating it and I’ve included a couple of recipes at the end.

 

1.Nutrient Content

Asparagus can provide us with a variety of nutrients including vitamins A, C and K, fibre and folate.  It is also an excellent source of vitamin E, a variety of B vitamins and more.

 

2. Anti-inflammatory

It has a unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients including a variety of asparagus saponins and also quercetin and kaempferol.  Inflammation plays a role in many undesirable conditions.

 

3. Antioxidant content

Asparagus provides plenty of antioxidants.  When compared with other fruit and vegetables it ranks high for it’s antioxidant content.  If you want to read more about why you need antioxidants you can read my article here.

 

4. Helps fight cancer

Points 3 and 4 probably play a large part in why it is an anti-cancer food.  It also contains glutathione which helps to break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds.  Most tests regarding cancer and asparagus have been done on rats and mice but the results are positive.

 

5. Digestive Support

Asparagus aids digestive support through its inulin content.  Inulin is a carbohydrate that is sometimes referred to as a prebiotic.  Instead of being broken down like most carbohydrates, it passes through to the large intestine where it becomes a food source for good bacteria.

 

6. Decreased risk of birth defects

Asparagus is an excellent source of folate.  Folate is an important nutrient during pregnancy and asparagus is a great natural source.

 

7. Heart health

Folate is also an essential nutrient with regards to our heart health.  Folate regulates the amino acid homocysteine which, when in high levels, can be a risk factor in heart disease.

 

If you don’t really cook asparagus much here are a few recipes for inspiration.

 

Asparagus, Pea & Prosciutto Risotto

Product

 

Lemony Asparagus Pasta

Lemony Asparagus Pasta

 

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Reference

Eat This

MNT

Eating Well

WHF

 

7 Fantastic Health Benefits of Sweet Potato

Written by: Helen

sweet potato

Welcome to another Fit Food Friday.  Apparently another title for sweet potato is yam.  Personally, I’ve never heard it called a yam so I’m wondering if this is particular to certain places.  Do Americans call them yams? (If anyone can shed any light on this please comment below and enlighten me).

Sweet potatoes are the cause of a long running feud in my household.  I love them and could quite happily eat them at most meals.  My husband isn’t so keen, it’s not that he doesn’t like them but more that he groans when he sees them, says he doesn’t like them but then does eat them all up (I think for him it’s one of those foods that you don’t really like but then don’t quite dislike either, do you have foods like that?). Anyway, as long as he keeps on eating them I will keep on buying them because they are so nutritious.  If you don’t eat sweet potato currently, here are 7 reasons why you should be:

1)Carotenoids

The orange colour shows us that they are high in carotenoids such as beta carotene.  Carotenoids are precursors to vitamin A and are very beneficial to our health.  They benefit our eyesight and are powerful antioxidants.

 

2)Diabetes

The natural sugars in sweet potato release slowly into our blood stream.  This provides a steady source of energy and avoids blood sugar spikes.  The dietary fibre also helps regulate blood sugar levels.

 

3)Antioxidants

I’ve already mentioned beta carotene but there are other antioxidants in sweet potato too, such as vitamin C and anthocyanin pigments.  Antioxidants help to protect our bodies from free radical damage (you can find out more about that here).

 

4)Heart

Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin B6 which reduces the chemical homocysteine.  Homocysteine is linked with diseases such as heart disease.  They also contain potassium (see point 5).

 

5)Blood pressure

The potassium in sweet potato helps to lower blood pressure by getting rid of excess sodium.

 

6)Cancer

Studies show the nutrients in sweet potato can play a protective role in cancers including prostate, breast and lung cancer.

 

7)Digestion

The high fibre of sweet potatoes helps prevent constipation and promotes healthy bowels.

 

Here are a couple of sweet potato recipes that I like the look of and plan on trying out soon (just click on the titles)

 

Sweet jacket potato with piri-piri prawns

Sweet jacket potato with piri-piri prawns

 

 

Sweet potato & lentil soup

Sweet potato & lentil soup

 

Do you eat sweet potato?  Any recipe tips? More importantly do you call it a yam? Thanks for reading 🙂

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