Seven ways to add a spring in your step in the wintertime...
When it is cold and skies are grey we often turn to comfort foods loaded with carbohydrates which can cause us to become sluggish with low energy levels. Here are seven ways to put a spring back into your step in the wintertime.
No. 1 Alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa, known as ‘the father of all foods’, is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. The sprouts provide vital components that increase energy levels and can be grown easily from seed in a jar on the window sill at any time of year with a daily rinse of water (twice in hot weather).
Use muslin or a stocking and an elastic band to seal the top and drain well, upside down, after rinsing or they will rot. After five days they are ready to eat like a salad green. Shake off excess seed husks and store in the refrigerator for up to five days. Only choose organic seeds for sprouting to ensure they are not dressed with antimicrobial chemicals. See more about Alfalfa and Sprouting Beans, Grains, Nuts and Seeds
No. 2 Alpha-lipoic acid
Alpha-lipoic acid helps the body turn glucose into energy. It can also rehabilitate other antioxidants like glutathione and vitamins C and E that wear themselves out and dissipate. It can also help to protect brain and nerve tissues as it is able to enter all parts of the nerve cell. Natural sources of this nutrient can be found in:
Natural sources of alpha-lipoic acid in alphabetical order
See more about Alpha-lipoic acid
No. 3 Aromatic herbs and spices
All aromatic herbs and spices are highly nutritious, boost the metabolism, remove toxins from the blood and support the immune system because of their antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Experiment and use all of the following liberally, in all dishes, up to three at a time. Click on each one to find out more about their specific health benefits, medicinal components and nutritional content.
No. 4 Chia Seeds
Gluten free chia seeds contain 23% more protein than whole grains and chia’s protein is complete which means it has a good level of all the 20 essential amino acids. They also contain more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach and fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli and many other important nutrients the body requires for energy production.
The outer part of the seed is rich in soluble fibre which forms a gel, protecting seeds from drying out. In the intestines, this gel forms a barrier between the carbohydrates and digestive enzymes that break them down. The carbohydrates are digested, but at a slow and uniform rate meaning there is no blood sugar spike after eating chia which is beneficial for diabetics and means energy levels remain consistent. Read more
No. 5 Minerals
The western diet is often lacking in minerals due to the growing, processing and refining techniques used to produce food and a diet high in carbohydrates means less minerals are consumed. Consuming a daily teaspoon of algae powder, such as chlorella or spirulina, or seaweed can help to replenish diminished stores and increase energy levels. Oily fish are also a good source as the oceans have not yet been depleted of these minerals like the heavily farmed soils have. See The A-Z of Minerals
No. 6 Nature’s Colour Codes
Nature has kindly colour-coded foods for us and each one has different compounds which the body needs on a regular, and often daily, basis to function correctly and many are involved in the energy production process. Consuming only five of one colour per day is futile as the vital nutrients of the other colours will be deficient. Consume a small portion of all six colours of fruit and vegetables every day and always eat the skins where possible as many nutrients are concentrated there. Choose three or four different vegetables and two or three fruits of the following colours:
Read more on Nature's Colour Codes
No 7 Vitamin B complex
Vitamins work together in teams with other nutrients and most are involved in the energy production process. Often the body can be lacking in the B complex particularly B12. This can be due to intense physical exercise but smoking tobacco or consuming alcohol, caffeine and many drugs can cause deficiencies. Those that limit their meat and fish intake or consume too many carbohydrates are also at risk. To ensure that the B vitamins are in good supply choose at least one different food from the following list each day.
Read more about the Vitamin B Complex
"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC
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