Top 3 Nutrition Essentials
Updated: Nov 5, 2021
One of the keys to eating healthy is to think of food in terms of its function. "How is this food making me healthier?" is a question to ask yourself when making food choices. This is why you should opt for foods high in minerals, vitamins and other beneficial compounds instead of just going for the tastiest food - although taste is obviously important!
The foods or food groups below are both functional and tasty, read on to discover how they can help make you healthier and happier!
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Turmeric has been popping up in the weirdest of places recently, from lattes to ice cream (yes, it exists)! Why is turmeric so popular these days? Well, it is mostly down to turmerics potent anti-inflammatory properties - in fact, turmeric has been shown to be as effective as ibuprofen in reducing inflammation (1). Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, with the earliest evidence of its medicinal use dating from around 4500BC (2).
Nowadays turmeric can be easily found in your local supermarket in either fresh or ground form and curcumin supplements (curcumin is the main active anti-inflammatory ingredient in turmeric) can be found in most health shops.
Which should you opt for? It is advisable to use turmeric regularly in cooking where it can be incorporated into many dishes, and use curcumin supplements only when they are needed such as if you have a soft-tissue injury, inflammation or illness.
In the traditional western diet, muscle meats are consumed more often than other types of meat such as organ meats, gelatinous meats and even skin and bones. Common gelatinous meats include ox cheek, oxtail, short rib, chicken feet or wings and shin.
The main health benefits of eating gelatinous meats come from the collagen and glycine it contains. Collagen is important for our joints, skin and our gut lining, whereas glycine is an important amino acid, especially for those eating a high quantity of muscle meat.
While eating muscle meats does provide us with a good dose of protein and other essential minerals and vitamins, eating too much muscle meat and not enough of the other type of meats can be detrimental to our health. This is due to the high levels of methionine which raises the level of homocysteine in our blood, too much of which is a significant risk factor for heart disease, stroke, mental illness and fractures. Glycine helps to lower the levels of homocysteine in the blood, reversing the negative effects.