Tag Archives: cholesterol

What do Apples do for us?

After beating the writer’s block yesterday morning, I decided to start a bit of theme for this week’s posts.

Everyone has heard “An Apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but I was wondering how true that actually was.  Turns out, from my research, it is more than true!  Apples really are great for you!

apple doctor

First some rather interesting facts (you can thank me when you win the next Pub Quiz you happen to take part in!).  Did you know there are 7,500 varieties of apples and that the apple is part of the rose family?  25% of their make up is air and 5% is protein (and that not due to any random wormy things you might munch unexpectedly – oh dear.  Was that an appetite supressant?)  and apparently it takes the energy from 50 leaves for them to produce 1 apple. I worry for my little dwarf apple trees outside in my garden.  They are nowhere near getting 50 leaves!

Apples are filled with 5 grams of soluble fibre, and as we know fibre is a good thing.  Apples control insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the blood stream.  It cleans and detoxifies which helps to eliminate heavy metals from the body.  Apple pectin, a chemical in the fruit, also helps to reduce cholesterol by lowering the insulin secretion as well.

apples

Apparently, studies have shown that if you eat up to 5 apples per week, it can help reduce asthma.  It can help the discomfort of skin diseases.  In Chinese medicine apples are considered to strengthen the heart, quench the thirst, lubricate the lungs, decrease mucus and increase body fluids.

Apples are also fabulous for those of us watching what we eat.  They have between 50 and 80 calories, and no fat or sodium but they are absolutely packed with vitamins A and C, flavanoids and phosphorus, iron and calcium with some potassium thrown in.  A Brazilian study also found that eating an apple BEFORE a meal helped woman lose 33% more weight than those who didn’t have one.  Goodness.  Apples really are a super food.  Probably one of the first superfoods we ever ate.

apple heart

Finally, Apples are really great for making cider.  Cider is one of my favourite alchoholic beverages, but obviously, you must drink it responsibly.  In addition, from apple cider, comes apple cider vinegar, and this is quite the miracle herbal remedy of the moment.

apple cider

But I think I will save that for another blog (though not necessarily for this week, because it looks like the old brain and writing inspiration is back to firing on all cylinders!)

Now… I am off to see what different sorts of apple I can try!

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What can Oats do for us?

For the first time in nearly 5 weeks, this morning I was struck down by a case of writers block.  I HATE that feeling of looking despairingly at a blank screen thinking “what on EARTH am I going to write”.

writers block

So, I took off to the kitchen, did some dishes, made some breakfast, poured myself a coffee and thought about a good topic.  I am clearly having one of those indecisive kinds of days, because I was looking around for breakfast possibilities and I was going through the usual list.  Cereal, Toast, Eggs.  Nothing really lit my fire.  So, I thought “Oats.  That will do”.

Aha!  My neurons began firing and I thought “I wonder what oats can do for us?” Off to do some online research.  (Isn’t Google utterly fabulous?!)

oats 1

We all know that Oats are a great source of fibre.  Apparently, because it is a source of soluble fibre it promotes heart health, but it is also a source of insoluble fibre and that helps the old digestive system.  These things can seriously pack a punch!

Oats are carbohydrates with a low Glycaemic Index which means they provide a source of slow burning energy.  You basically get more bang for your calories.  As they fill you up, it can really help with weight control.  They are also wholegrains.  Wholegrains are AWESOME for the body.  Great for anti-cancer and anti-heart disease diets, and the best thing is, it doesn’t matter how you eat them.  Just eat them.  Quick oats, pin oats, instant oats, rolled oats, they are ALL oats.

rolled oats

Oats have been proven to reduce blood cholesterol, they contain loads of vitamins and minerals (including being a fabulous source of manganese) and to boot they are convenient and quick.  What is there not to love!

Oats are frugal and a great way of adding texture to food; they work in meat dishes, pancakes, muffins, breads, all kinds of things to make the expensive ingredients go that bit further.

tablespoon of oats

Oats can also make an appearance in your beauty routine.   It is a gentle exfoliant, so if you put a teaspoon of oats in some facewash all those dead skin cells which make your skin look a little dull will come sloughing off and you will look radiant!  Also, if you or your children are suffering with a rash or itchy skin (like eczema, chicken pox, nappy rash, all of the above – poor kid!) you can make a bath bag using a muslin cloth.  In the middle of the cloth, put a tablespoon of oats, gather the cloth up and secure it with string or an elastic band, and then put it under the taps so the oats gets wet.  The bath water will get a little milky, and it is that substance which will help the itches go away.  After the bath has been run, put the parcel in the water, and even dab the bag on the itchy bits to get the most out of it.

I am quite pleased with that for a day with writers block!  Off to plan the rest of the weeks blogs!

Going back. Again.

Today, I start back at the gym.  I gave up going to the gym back in November when I got ill, with that we think was glandular fever.  I am heading back to the gym, like lots of other people, after the post-Christmas New Year’s Resolution rush to get fit.  My plan is to use the combination of exercise and portion control to get fighting fit in preparation for becoming a Mum via adoption.

50 reasons

On the basis that if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got, I am searching for Motivation to help me when I get the inevitable attack of the CBAs (Can’t be Asked).  Where do I go for short sharp inspiration?  My favourite Pinterest of course!  It came up with the goods.  50 reasons to exercise.  I won’t trail through the whole 50, because otherwise I will spend all my day at the computer, and not go to the gym!  Here, instead, are the edited highlights.

 

Exercise makes you feel happier through the release of endorphins.  It improves your self esteem, because you are achieving something as well as making yourself look better.  If you are studying and want to boost you learning, then get with your books and get on the stationary bike!  Exercise lifts your mood, keeps your brain fit, reduces stress and boosts your immune system.

exercise advice

It also apparently has anti-ageing effects and boosts your creative thinking.  It improves sleeping patterns, helps to control addictions, improves your eating habits and improves your posture.  Exercise can also keep you focussed in life and strengthens your bones.

 

If you exercise regularly, your cholesterol levels improve, you lower your risk of certain cancers, you can lower high blood pressure without resorting to drugs, it reduces your risk of diabetes, can fight the onset of dementia, eases back pain and decreases the risk of osteoporosis.

exercise

Some obvious ones now.  Exercise increases your energy and endurance, improves sport performance, improves pain resistance and lessens fatigue.  Also, aerobic exercise improves oxygen supply to blood cells.

 

Do I think that these reasons will help motivate me?  Well, hopefully.  I also need to keep my eye on the prize;  I want to feel like I have the energy to keep up with a small person (or people) when they come into my life.  I also want to feel better about myself.  But the main thing I have to remember is to break the habit of a lifetime and not do too much, too soon and burn up or burn out.

pool

So, on that note, I am off to try out the exercise bikes (slowly), maybe the treadmills (for some walking) and get in the pool and do some lengths.  After all that, I am going to treat myself to a sit in the steam room!