Food for Thought

WHAT IS MCT OIL & WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS?

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MCT oil consists of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s), which are a type of saturated fatty acid.

Medium chain triglycerides are easier for the body to absorb and utilize than long-chain triglycerides. They also have a number of great benefits including increased energy, satiety and improved focus. MCT oil is a popular staple of the ketogenic diet. Including them as part of a keto diet can speed up the process of entering ketosis, as they are easily converted into ketones in the liver, which can be used as an alternative source of energy to glucose. 

Coconut oil is a common and popular source of MCT’s. You’ll be happy know that MCT oil has no odor, making it perfect to add to coffee, smoothies and meals! Adding MCT oil to black coffee has gained popularity by those following keto as it’s a great way to support fat burning during the morning.

The 4 forms of MCT’s found in coconut oil include:

Caproic acid - 6 chains of carbon (C6)

Caprylic Acid – 8 chains of carbon (C8)

Capric Acid – 10 chains of carbon(C10)

Lauric Acid – 12 chains of carbon (C12)

Fats consist of chains of carbons atoms. The number of carbon atoms per chain influences the amount of time it takes to be converted into ketones. 

 

Benefits of MCT oil summarised:

  • Aids in weight loss by promoting saiety, due to their role in releasing the hormone leptin

  • Support brain function as they can pass through the blood-brain barrier and are then used for the brain as energy

  • Supports balanced hormones

  • Improve concentration and mental clarity 

  • Support endurance during exercise

  • Are utilized as fuel, instead of being stored as fat

Doing keto? Try these tasty Keto-Friendly Zucchini Fritters

7 STEPS TO A HEALTHY GUT

Are you experiencing sluggish digestion or do you struggle to digest certain foods?

If you answered YES!.. then this post is just for you. These are my tried and tested ways to say goodbye to abdominal discomfort and avoid that undesirable heavy, bloated feeling.  

Poor gut health has become increasingly common among today's society as processed foods have slipped more and more into our daily diets, social events and supermarkets. As a result of consuming these foods the bacteria in our guts and our body's immune response has suffered. Our gut plays many important roles in the body from skin health,  absorption of nutrients and aiding weight loss.. just to name a few!

Below are my top 7 tips to improve your gut health in 14 days. Although replenishing your gut may take months (and maybe even years), I guarantee you will start to feel better in 7-14 days by following these tips. 

1. Cut out gluten containing foods/any foods you feel you struggle to digest -  this includes rye, barley, oats and wheat flours. Dairy, Fructose and Lentils can also disturb gut health. 

 

2. Start your day with a glass of fresh lemon juice or 1-2 tsp of Apple Cider vinegar in warm water to increase the production of hydrochloric acid. This will assist in the break down of food and also alleviate heart burn/reflux. 

 

3. Increase intake of fermented foods - sauerkraut, kombucha etc. 

 

4. Take a daily probiotic

 

5. Increase fibre intake - dietary fibre is a prebiotic, which increase beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal system as probiotics feed off them. Think chia seeds, psyllium husk etc. 

 

6. Increase water intake - this will help to alleviate any constipation and get your bowls moving! However, make sure you try to drink water 15 minutes before or after any meals (as drinking fluids with meals can upset digestion). 

 

7. Exercise - 30 minutes of daily physical activity will help keep you regular!

 

 

 

If you have any friends or family who would find the information in this post helpful, please share below xx

SICK OF COUNTING SHEEP? 10 FOODS THAT WILL HELP YOU SLEEP!

There is nothing more frustrating than laying in bed, awake in a dark room hoping you'll get to sleep.. meanwhile the clock keeps ticking over and before you know it it's almost sunrise.  The following foods can be added to your diet for a good night's sleep!

Nutrients to support sleep:

Tryptophan is an amino acid that increases levels of serotonin in the brain which creates a calming effect on the mind and body. Fuel up with foods high in tryptophan for a good night's sleep! Another nutrient that will help you fall asleep is  magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral which supports a quality night's sleep by relaxing muscles of the body and lungs to put you straight on the road to snooze-town.

Here are my top 10 foods for sleep:

1. Quinoa

2. Lentils

 

3. Flaxseed

 

4. Almonds

5. Dark chocolate or raw cacao powder

6. Peanuts

7. Amaranth

8. Pumpkin seeds

9. Brown rice 

10. Spinach 

WHAT THE TEFF? THE NEW SUPERGRAIN ON THE BLOCK!

 

Teff is an ancient grain, which has now made it to the shelves!

Originating from Ethiopia, this little grain may be small (even the smallest grain in the world) but will give you a wonderful nutritional kick!

Teff is gluten free, and great to use for baking as substitute for any gluten free flour!

I was introduced to Teff flour last year, and it's become one of my favourites. It's definitely up there with the most used gluten free grains in my pantry. Teff flour has a slightly nutty flavour and goes really well with raw cacao powder, which is one of the reasons I love it. 

 

Top 5 benefits of Teff:

1. High in calcium - perfect for bone health if are already limiting your dairy intake.

2. A fantastic source of resistance starch, which makes it perfect for stabilizing blood sugar levels. High in fibre, keeping you regular!

4. High in protein - contains 8 essential amino acids. A great source of nutrients that will keep you fuller for longer.

5. High in vitamins C and B's - which makes it perfect for the cooler season. It contains vitamin C for immune support, and B vitamins for energy.

 

 

Teff flour can be found in your local health food store and in some supermarkets!

 

 

THE AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEE POLLEN

Bee Pollen is flower pollen that honey bees collect for their food and energy. It is one of natures greatest superfoods and contains more protein than any other animal source of the same amount, as well as B vitamins and folic acid. 

Bee pollen is a fantastic source of protein with many health benefits definitely worth adding to your diet! I have 1-2 teaspoons daily on my breakfast or in smoothies.

Sold in all good Health Food stores. It tastes delicious and with all the health benefits its hard to miss, give it a try you wont regret it!

 

Health benefits of Bee pollen:

  •  
  • 1. Improves energy levels - the proteins, carbohydrates and B vitamins keep you fuller for longer and sustain energy.

2. Soothes skin - Bee pollen can be used topically for inflammatory skin conditions (including eczema).

3. High in antioxidants

4. Aids digestion - bee pollen contains enzymes that can aid digestion which assist the body in getting nutrients from food sources.

5. Weight control - stimulates metabolic processes and suppresses cravings.

6. Supports fertility - stimulates ovarian function

7. Can be used as a remedy for hay fever allergies when taken 6 weeks before the seasons begins and continually through the season.

8. Prevents premature aging and provides a biological 'glow' - Bee pollen stimulates the growth of new skin tissue.

9. Can help suppress facial acne - rejuvenates skin and contains a high concentration of nucleic acids RNA and DNA as well as a natural antibiotic factor. 

10. Assists the cardiovascular system - Bee pollen contains large amounts of Rutin (an antioxidant bioflavonoid that helps strengthen capillaries and blood vessels) which helps correct cholesterol levels and may help prevent a heart attack or stroke.

 

BACK TO UNI/WORK SNACK IDEAS TO KEEP YOUR HEALTH GOALS ON TRACK!

It's that time of the year again!

Time to get back into the books and ready for a new semester.

Quick and easy snacks that will keep your brain fueled and won't curb your health goals are essential to keep on hand!

Here are a few of my on-the-go snack ideas to take to work or uni:

1. Veggie sticks with hummus!

Slice up sticks of carrot, cucumber and celery to enjoy with a tub of organic hummus.

2. Breakfast jars

If you have an early lecture the next morning pre-prepare you breakfast the night before in a jar, this is perfect for when you have to rush out the door. Below is a recipe for my easy breakfast bowl, store it in a jar in the fridge and it will be ready to go in the morning when you are! Click HERE to get the recipe for my Quick & Easy Breakfast Bowl

3. Bliss balls/ healthy fudge truffles

At the start of each week I made up a batch of delicious treats to take with me when I'm out so I don't get stuck craving something sweet with 7 Eleven around the corner. I can't stress how important preparation is when sticking to a healthy diet! Click HERE for my Healthy Fudge Truffle recipe!

4. Trail mix

Create a trail mix of your favourite nuts and seeds and keep it in your bag as a go-to snack.

5. Baby tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of my favourite foods at the moment! When I don't have a lot of time to cook up a batch of healthy treats, I will take a punnet of spray-free baby tomatoes with me to snack on during the day.

6. Fruit

Easy-peasy, berries or bananas are always great and easy to take along with you.

7. Zoodles

Try this recipe for the perfect nutritious snack! Pack them in your bag for the ultimate raw snack. Click HERE if you want to make Raw Zucchini Noodles!

8. Raw chocolate

For all you chocolate lovers (myself included!) throw a few squares of raw vegan chocolate or 85% dark chocolate into your trail mix.

9. Boiled egg

10. Canned tuna on rye/gluten free crackers