Tweaklet #25 The Cruciferous Family: Superfood Crusaders!

What did our mothers always tell us? To eat our greens….right?? Which I guess either made you love them or hate them.

These days it seems that whether we like them or not, green vegetables are pretty essential. And the ones in the cruciferous family……the WHAT family, I hear you say? I’m just showing off because I’m learning about them too.

The cruciferous family includes green vegetables like Broccoli…..cauliflower……cabbage……Brussel sprouts…..Asian greens like Bok Choy and pak choy……rocket or arugula……kale….collard greens….mustard greens……radishes…….watercress……kohlrabi and quite a number of others.

Why are members of this family such superfood crusaders? Well because they work so hard at defending our health.

They reduce inflammation…..regulate blood sugar and enhance heart health……They balance our hormones and help us lose weight.

They are full of fibre but low in carbs so they’re great for digestion and keep us fuller for longer.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always listen to my mother, so if you haven’t been eating as many greens as you should then when you up your intake you could expect to experience a bit of wind……flatulence I mean…..but it will pass…..so to speak……so stick with it and start noticing the difference that these little superfood crusaders are making to your health.

Thanks for watching todays Superfood Tweaklet! We’re all doing our best to Tweak our health aren’t we.

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Tweaklet #24 – Dangers of Artificial Sweetners

Most of us have got the message about sugar – that we should eat much less of it or possibly cut it out altogether. But perhaps some of you did what I did and turned to artificial sweeteners.

Artificial sweeteners are just that – they are artificial. Our body does not recognise them and as such can’t process them. And if that isn’t bad enough they have some terrible side effects – from headaches and migraines to kidney and liver damage and cardiovascular disease.
And a lot of us may have been drawn to them because they’re low calorie, but in fact, artificial sweeteners are actually linked to weight gain!

The worst thing is that they make us crave sweet things even more which makes them just as addictive as sugar.
So Tweaklet friends, it’s time to get smart about artificial Sweeteners. Ditch any of those products with DIET in the label. Throw out the diet, lite or low cal sodas. Stop putting ……………………………………………………………………………………… in your hot drink.

Read your labels because Artificial Sweeteners are often hiding in things like toothpaste….. chewing gum, sweets……chewable vitamins…..low and no-calorie drinks…….salad dressings…….frozen yoghurt.

But my fellow sweet tooths, don’t despair. There are plenty of natural sweeteners we can enjoy including maple syrup……coconut sugar……stevia……raw honey…..and real fruit of course. And you can gradually retrain your palette to enjoy NATURAL sweetness by adding tangy, warm and savoury flavours from things like vanilla……licorice…..nutmeg and cinnamon.

Phew! There’s hope for us yet! Play around with today’s Tweaklet and please let me know how you get on Sweet Tooths. I love hearing from you!

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Tweaklet #22 – Avocado – Creamy green goodness

Aw isn’t it beautiful! The humble avocado is making a comeback, has been for a while actually, and I for one couldn’t be happier.

I love avocados and If you’re not yet a fan, then my mission today is to convert you. This ruggedly handsome fruit is often misunderstood. So, don’t be put off by its tough armadillo looking exterior, inside it’s all smooth, creamy green deliciousness.

One avocado is full to bursting with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that provide very real benefits to the overall health of your skin and body. You might remember from previous episodes that fat is back! Good fats are essential for good health and avocados are top of the good fats list!

And avocados are SO VERSATILE! Here’s just a few uses…

Because of their neutral taste avocados are a great in baking where you need butter or shortening. Add them to salads, in slices or as a dressing and to pastas and sauces. The classic is of course guacamole and you can add them to fritters and juices and soups.

Two of my favourites include putting half an avocado in my breakfast smoothie to make it really creamy and sustaining. And creating a superfood chocolate mousse, using avocado and raw cacao. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it, its Amazing!

You can work avocado into your breakfast, smashed on gluten-free toast or crack an egg into the seedless side and baking it in the oven for a few minutes. Drizzle with a little chilli for some added zing!

You can even make a face mask out of them!

And something I didn’t know till recently is that you can crush the seed, which is full of fibre and antioxidants and add that into smoothies and your favourite recipes as well!

Rich in potassium, B vitamins, fibre as well as antioxidants and folate, avocados promote healthy cell and tissue development so they’re good for pretty much everyone. Did you know that avocados also naturally boost libidos in both men and women? Woohoo! Just another added benefit of this funny looking fruit.

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Tweaklet #23 – Cauliflower – It’s like food playdoh!

The humble cauliflower – pale and lumpy looking but don’t underestimate it!

In fact who would have thought, just a few short years ago, that cauliflower could become such a popular vegetable and not just because it contains almost every necessary vitamin and mineral whilst managing to be very low in carbs and therefore calories, it is also a really versatile vegetable.

Honestly, cauliflower is like vegetable playdoh because of all the things you can make from it!

As people want more low carb and gluten free alternatives the cauliflower has a solution for just about everything……. I’m sure you’ll have heard of some of them…….cauliflower rice…..cauliflower steaks……cauliflower pizza crust……cauli tacos……an alternative to mashed potato…….You can have it baked, roasted, smashed, fried, ……. in soups, salads, and used in every style of cuisine.

But it’s the health benefits that really make it special.
Cauliflower is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich which makes it great for your heart and brain health. It provides huge amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium and so many more vitamins and minerals that support healthy digestion and detoxification.

It’s from the cruciferous family of vegetables which really sends it into superfood status….as this family of vegetables helps slow tumour growth and helps kill cancer cells.

We’ll talk more about the cruciferous family because they’re amazing for all round good health. But of all of them, the cauliflower is probably the most versatile as you can cook it in so many different ways. It’s an excellent low carb alternative to eating potatoes, pasta, rice, and it’s full of easily digestible fibre.
Cauliflower – you’re a great all-rounder and certainly a good friend of mine.

I have lots of fabulous cauliflower recipes so let me know if you need some to get you started. Or if you’d like to share your favourite cauliflower recipe please let me know in the comments below this video.

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Tweaklet #21 – Leaky Gut and its best friend gluten.

You might have heard the term Leaky Gut so let’s understand what that is.

Leaky gut is quite literally when your gut gets a little hole in it, which happens when your intestinal wall gets irritated by what you’re eating.

That tiny hole then allows toxins, bacteria and even particles of food to leak out of the gut into your bloodstream. This is very bad news because the body’s immune system tries to fight off these intruders and ends up attacking itself.

So how does the gut become leaky?

Some causes are antibiotics and anti inflammatories. And the weed killer gly-PHOS-ate that’s in a lot of our foods. But one of the worst offenders in making holes in our gut lining is the simple protein gluten.

Gluten is found in grain which means it’s in many of our staple foods – regular wheat bread, pasta, baked goods and cereal.

I know, I can hear you yelling at me from here….How am I going to give up bread? Or Pasta? Or my favourite cereal?

Well, all I can say is think about it. Like everything on Tweaklets, this is just about tiny tweaks and cutting back….or cutting out….gluten is a small price to pay for preventing and healing those holes in your gut that cause terrible digestive issues, as well as things like chronic fatigue…, hormonal imbalances…., skin conditions……, fibromyalgia….., arthritis…., migraines and asthma.

So before you butter that toast or fill your bowl with cereal, think twice. Think Tweaklets – this tiny food tweak that could make all the difference to your health .

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Tweaklet #20 – Collagen the healthy glue!

We hear a lot about Collagen, especially as we get older and ladies I’m sure you’re familiar with the collagen speech when you’re being sold an expensive anti-ageing face cream.

So what is collagen?

Collagen is best described as the glue that holds our bodies together. It’s the main component in our connective tissue, and is the most abundant protein in our body found in our muscles, bones, skin, tendons, hair and digestive system.

As we age, the body’s collagen production naturally decreases and that’s when you notice your skin getting wrinkly and saggy and your joints starting to ache. So if this is a natural process of aging what can we do about it?

Well first, be aware of eating too much sugar and getting too much sun which affect collagen levels and if you’re a smoker, that’s bad news for collagen too.

SO what are the best ways to eat our way to better collagen levels?

The top 10 collagen boosting foods are …..bone broth…., spirulina….., eggs….., gelatin…., cod fish…., green leafy vegetables,…. pumpkin seeds,,,,,, strawberries,…… citrus fruit and …..good old garlic.

So give some thought to bumping up your intake of collagen boosting foods so that you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive face cream!

Thanks for watching Tweaklets – those tiny food tweaks. To continue watching please remember to Like, Comment and Subscribe.

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Tweaklet #18 – Acid vs Alkaline

We’ve talked about how to aim for a better balance acid and alkaline balance in your body. It’s not always easy to work out how to achieve this so I thought a few more tips might be in order.

First, though let’s just remind ourselves why it’s important to maintain a more alkaline system. The main reason is that when we’re too acidic we’re fuelling inflammation in the body whereas when our system is more alkaline it’s very difficult for any disease or infection to take hold.

So what does eating alkaline mean? In scientific terms, it means that you’re trying to keep your body’s acid-base or pH level between 6.5, which is slightly acidic, and 7.5 which is slightly alkaline.

Acid-forming foods include most high-protein foods, such as meat, fish, and eggs, whereas most vegetables are alkaline-forming.
Stay away from processed foods and that includes fast food of course but also deli meats and all those convenience packaged foods and sauces in jars. Sugar and wheat fuel acidity too as does coffee and alcohol.

There are some interesting anomalies too. Most people think that lemons are acidic, which they are but when digested they have an alkaline effect. Dairy – such as milk and yoghurt which are thought of as calming to the digestive system are not and are actually highly acidic.

There’s always more useful information coming to light on the balance between alkaline and acidic foods so, during our tiny food tweaks on Tweaklets, we will keep you posted.

If you have news to share remember to comment and don’t forget to Like and Subscribe. Thanks for watching!

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Tweaklet #19 – Brain Fog!

You know one of the things I really hate is having a foggy brain! I’m sure you know what I mean- when you just can’t think straight and you feel like you’re battling your way through cotton wool!

Aaargh…….I hate it!

When we have deadlines to meet or loved ones to look after, even just errands to run, not having a clear mind is a real hindrance.

But, as always, I have some good news for natural ways to boost your mental capacity, your mood, as well as rejuvenate your overall brain health.. .all using food.

Gotu kola is a delicious brain shaped leaf that can be eaten in your salad. It helps with memory and repairing neural damage.

Gingko has been shown to boost stem cell production in the brain with extraordinary effects in memory and cognition

As I was researching this I came across some natural remedies that I was not familiar with so I will report on those too and do some more research into them for you.

Brahmi for instance is a revered medicinal plant which stimulates brain cells, whilst lowering brain inflammation.

Rhodiola combats stress and fatigue and restores our mental balance.

And finally Lion’s Mane which is a medicinal mushroom that repairs and rebuilds the nerve network in the brain preventing degenerative brain diseases.

I just love finding simple natural solutions to something like brain fog. It’s a great reminder that we don’t have to live with these annoying conditions or take pills, which only create more problems in our body.

So I order you…brain fog be gone!

Thanks for watching Tweaklets. Don’t forget to Like, Comment and Subscribe!

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Tweaklet #17 – Inflammation Fighters (Pt.2)

In the previous episode, we talked about the best foods for fighting inflammation in your body.

Inflammation is associated with most chronic diseases and there are lots of natural ways we can support our immune system in its fight to restore us to better health. In fact, making just a few simple switches in your daily routine, by adding the foods we talked about before and the appropriate supplement, can make a world of difference when it comes to enhancing immune function.

Some of the top Anti-Inflammatory Supplements are the most natural and inexpensive.

Collagen, for example, promotes cell turnover and keeps the bones and joints healthy and strong.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These are a type of polyunsaturated fats that are essential to many different aspects of health, especially when it comes to inflammation and immunity. Taking an Omega-based supplement such as fish oil is an easy and effective way to round out your diet while also ensuring that you’re getting the omega-3 fatty acids that you need.

Bone Broth, which contains a concentrated amount of healing compounds such as collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine. Studies in humans and animals show that bone broth and its components can support joint and skin health and may help retain muscle mass and strengthen the lining of the intestinal tract.

Turmeric. Besides adding a burst of colour and flavour to curries and cuisines, this spice is also jam-packed with health-promoting properties thanks to the presence of curcumin which has been shown to alleviate inflammation and decrease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in both human and test-tube studies.

Vibrantly green microalgae Spirulina is highly nutritious is rich in antioxidants which relieve inflammation and reduce oxidative stress.

There are so many foods and natural supplements to consider when it comes to reducing inflammation or just generally boosting your health and well being. And here at Tweaklets, we love giving you simple and easy to digest (pardon the pun) information!

Join us next time on Tweaklets for more tiny food tweaks and don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe!

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Tweaklet #16 – Inflammation (Pt.1)

The best description of inflammation  is that it is a normal response by your body’s immune system to help protect the body against illness and infection.

For example, if you’re stung by a bee that swelling that you see is caused by your body releasing histamine, which then sends in white blood cells to the area and increases blood flow which helps heal the wound and support your immune system.

However, some research suggests that inflammation is at the root of most diseases and may also contribute to chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, bowel disease, lupus, leaky gut and cancer.

Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health in the process. Here are some of the top Anti-Inflammatory Foods.

First, there are Blueberries boasting a good amount of antioxidants in each serving. They fight free radical formation and prevent oxidative damage to the cells to decrease inflammation.

Leafy Green Vegetables Leafy greens like spinach, kale and Swiss chard are bursting with flavonoids, that have been shown to offer protection against chronic conditions such as dementia, heart disease and even cancer.

Beets get their vibrant colour from betalain, a type of plant pigment that’s responsible for reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.

Salmon. This gorgeous fatty fish is loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can help soothe inflammation and optimize your health.

The humble Broccoli is well-known for its whole host of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can decrease inflammation.

Then there’s Coconut Oil with its ability to boost brain function and protect against bone loss.

Walnuts which supply a hearty dose of protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and phytonutrients in each serving

And my favourite, Ginger, which is  Well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Keep watching for the best anti-inflammatory supplements next time on Tweaklets – where we bring you tiny food tweaks. Remember to Like comment and subscribe!

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