Tweaklet #31 Salt – Good or Bad?

Salt is another one of those intensely debated health topics. Over the past 30 years, science has systematically disproved our biggest fear, that salt elevates our blood pressure. In fact, when you’re lacking in minerals, like sodium, THAT can lead to higher blood pressure! And low-salt diets can actually increase the risk of heart attacks.

But before we go too far down the science track, let’s just talk about the food aspects of salt. Your body does need salt but the right kind. Ordinary table salt is not a good choice as it has been broken down with heat and has lost all its minerals.

All salt is originally from the sea and it’s the unrefined sea salt we want that still has all its minerals intact. It’s so much tastier too. And UNREFINED is the key thing to look for.

Why do we need salt? Well, apart from being rich in those trace minerals it also prevents dehydration and balances our electrolytes. In turn, it supports our brain, muscles and nervous system and it’s important for digestive health, particularly helping to absorb nutrients.

Some unrefined salts to look for are Himalayan Salt (the pink one), Celtic Salt, Flaky sea salt, Fleur de Sel or  Flor de Sal, Hawaiian Sea Salt, to name a few of the purest.

Like anything with our diets, moderation is key. We now know that salt is needed by our bodies and we don’t need to avoid it. That being said, if you’re a bit of a salt addict, as I have been, it’s still nice to dial back the salt a bit and taste the real flavour of the food.

Thanks for joining me on my quest for a better understanding of salt and other food tweaks that can make a difference to our health.

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Tweaklet #27 Green Tea – For a Longer Life

Let’s talk green tea!

Firstly, it’s considered by many to be the ultimate ANTI-AGING drink! The reason being that the leaves contain a super high level of antioxidants. According to dozens of studies, these antioxidants, coupled with a range of other healing compounds, have the effect of reducing your risk of developing heart disease and strokes because it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It also helps to reduce the inflammation that causes arthritis. It boosts bone density and helps prevent  eye disease and……… well……green tea is just a great all-rounder that can help us live longer, healthier lives.

I drink green tea, well……because I like it. But I’m not sure I always liked the taste of it. I suppose I started drinking it because it was supposed to be good for me and over time I’ve come to really enjoy it. The other thing I like about it is knowing that the kind of anti-aging compounds that are in green tea are the same, only more powerful, as the ones found in some of my other favourites things – blueberries…….dark chocolate …….and red wine!

Even though it contains small amounts of caffeine, green tea has been associated with more health benefits than many of the healthiest foods available to us. This puts green tea into superfood contention! Yep, it’s official….this is another SUPERFOOD alert!

If you are not yet a fan of green tea, join me for a cuppa and give it a try.

Thanks for watching Tweaklets – these tiny food tweaks that can really make a difference to your health.

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Tweaklet #26 Bread, Dangerous Bread

I’m heading into dangerous territory today to talk about one of my favourite foods – BREAD.

Bread….and all its other cousins…… pastries…… pizzas…….crusty rolls……crunchy baguettes……donuts……muffins……pancakes…..crackers……mmmmm….the list of yummy baked comfort food goes on….at least for me! And I know a few of you out there probably feel the same.

Bread is genuinely addictive as the wheat in bread triggers receptors in the brain, similar to addictive drugs! Then there’s the high carb content which spikes our blood sugar, creates bloating and fat around our middles and plays havoc with our digestive system. Believe me, bread lovers, this is terrible news to me too!

But we have to face facts modern wheat just isn’t what it used to be. And it’s not just about the gluten content. Some gluten-free bread alternatives are made with high-glycemic starches that skyrocket your blood sugar even faster than wheat!

So where do we turn, when we want a luscious slice of buttery toast or a crunchy cracker? Well, there are people working really hard to find healthy wheat and gluten-free alternatives.

One book I particularly like is from Kelley Herring. Kelley has spent 10 years developing a guide to grain-free, low carb bread. I’m having great fun trying out her recipes! They are delicious and she’s got every type of bread covered – loaf breads, flat breads, breakfast breads, rolls and buns, crackers and crusts.

Bread lovers take heart we can still enjoy our favourites, we just need tweak them a bit. I hope you enjoyed today’s Tweaklet!

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