Tag Archives: coconut oil

Healthy Eating..Peanuts!

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Quite by accident ( we were drying) peanuts some must have escaped and took root so I can now say I grow my own peanuts.

Peanut plants

I am not talking about the salted peanuts that you buy in packets in the shop or supermarket but peanuts grown naturally and roasted or made into healthy peanut butter.

These peanuts are high in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is vital in the heart healthy Mediterranean diet.There have been many studies on peanuts and they have shown that this little legume is very vital for heart health.

Peanuts are a good source of Vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese as well as providing resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant also found in red grapes and red wine. While it cannot compare with the fruits highest in antioxidants i.e  pomegranate, roasted peanuts do compare with the antioxidants of apples, carrots and beets.

Rather than buying store bought peanut butter which is full of nasties it is easier and it is very quick to make your own.

It is the quickest easiest recipe to make ever, the kids can help blitz it and as well as being tasty it has no nasties.

Let’s Cook!

Take 500 gm raw peanuts. Put in oven on tray and cook on high for 10 mins. Take out of oven and reserve a few (if you like crunchy peanut butter) like me. Put the remainder of nuts in a food processor and blitz at 1 min intervals scrapping down the sides. Do this for 4 mins or until smooth.

Add 1tsp of salt,1 tbsp oil and remainder of reserved nuts if using. If you want to add honey, Nutella or flavouring of your choice then add now.

Blitz again for 1 min and put in a suitable container. Stores in fridge for 3/4 weeks…….IT’S DELISH!

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Now although it doesn’t store as long as shop bought peanut butter it is far healthier, so quick and easy to make you can just make it as and when you need it.

Uses:

Spread peanut butter on your morning waffle, whole grain toast (my favourite) or mid- morning crackers or rice cakes.

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Add a tbsp of peanut butter to your morning smoothie.

A handful of dry roasted peanuts goes down very well with a glass of tomato juice as an afternoon snack.

Love Thai curry? Combine some peanut butter with coconut milk and add to your Thai green or red curry….amazing.. or pour over some healthy steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables.

It is also lovely as a cooking sauce for a nice piece of salmon.

A very versatile jar of goodness.

If you enjoyed this then please reblog or share on your social media as not only is it better for you but also cheaper than the store bought ones.

All photos are either my own ( Carol ) or from Pixabay which are free to use.

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy foods which may help reduce your blood pressure.

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Controlling your blood pressure is one of the most important things if not the most important thing you can do to improve your health and increase your lifespan. Of course, most of us now know there are alternatives to popping pills: Many foods can lower blood pressure naturally. Rather than cutting things out, science shows that you can really benefit from adding these foods to your diet.

These are all healthy foods that can be part of your diet. But whether any one food can lower your blood pressure isn’t entirely clear and will likely depend on a host of variables including your current blood pressure, your genes, how much of the food you consume and how often, and other components in your diet and exercise.

Of course, never ever stop taking any prescribed medication for your Blood pressure without your doctors say so. Always discuss you diet plans with your doctor if you are on medication and also if he is prescribing medication and you have not yet started taking it then discuss it with him..Show him that you have done your research and what you plan to do to help and he should be receptive to this and monitor your Blood pressure for a period of time to see if what you are proposing lowers it…Always ask, more and more medical practitioners are looking at natural methods of treating some conditions.

Work with your doctor.

A healthy diet and adding certain foods to that diet may help further reduce your blood pressure.

You probably already know that a diet rich in foods containing potassium, calcium and magnesium may help prevent or help normalise high blood pressure. But are there specific foods?

Salt has always been thought to be a major player in reducing blood pressure ..however new schools of thoughts and current research into salt is raising doubts about this.

Myself I live in hot, humid climes and I need to keep my salt intake up..not in excess but not to cut it out as much as I can….my blood pressure has reduced since living here. I will admit it is lifestyle, diet and exercise which has all contributed to that. Nothing in isolation. While I am on the subject of salt in the diet this is a good  article about salt and the diet    

It doesn’t advocate cutting out salt completely or diving into the salt pot….Moderation not abstinence is what it is saying…

Below are some foods which if incorporated into your diet and some or most you may already be eating can help lower your blood pressure.

Leafy greens, which are high in potassium, include Romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard and broccoli.

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But PLEASE DON’T discount frozen vegetables as they contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, and they’re easier to store. You can also blend these veggies with bananas and nut milk for a healthy, sweet green juice.

Red Beets

Beets are high in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Current research also found that the nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.

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For a 2013 study in Nutrition Journal, Australian researchers looked at the effects of beet juice on blood pressure among healthy men and women.. Participants drank either beet plus apple juice or plain apple juice, then had their blood pressure monitored over 24 hours. The results: The researchers observed a reduction in systolic blood pressure six hours after participants drank beet juice, especially among the men. Beets naturally contain nitrates, which ease blood pressure

Servo, M., Lara, J., Ogbonmwan, I., & Mathers, J. C. (2013). Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation

You can juice your own beets or simply cook and eat the whole root. Beetroot is delicious when roasted or added to stir-fries and stews. You can also bake them into chips.

Be careful when handling beets the juice can stain your hands and clothe and also colour your urine…

Oatmeal

Fits the bill for a high-fiber, low-fat way to lower your blood pressure. Eating oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to fuel up for the day.

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Overnight oats are a popular breakfast option. To make them, soak a cup of rolled oats and a cup of nut milk or milk of your choice in a jar. In the morning, stir and add berries, granola, and cinnamon to taste.

Bananas

Eating foods that are rich in potassium is in my book better than taking supplements.

Bananas

Slice a banana into your cereal or oatmeal for a potassium-rich addition. You can also take one to go along with a boiled egg for a quick breakfast or snack.

Salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3

Fish are a great source of lean protein. Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides. In addition to these fish sources, trout contains vitamin D. Foods rarely contain vitamin D, and this hormone-like vitamin has properties that can lower blood pressure.

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The only warning I would give on this is to make sure that fish is from a sustainable source and not farmed.

 Seeds

Unsalted seeds are high in potassium, magnesium, and other minerals known to reduce blood pressure. Enjoy a cup of sunflower, pumpkin, or squash seeds as a snack between meals…. a nice healthy snack.

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Chillies

For those who know me can just imagine the smile on my face …I love chilli and for anyone with high blood pressure, chilli peppers might be just what the doctor ordered, according to a study reported in the August issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. While the active ingredient that gives the peppers their heat – a compound that is known as capsaicin might set your mouth on fire, it also leads blood vessels to relax, the research in hypertensive rats shows.

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For those who can’t tolerate spicy foods, there might be some hope for there is the existence of a mild Japanese pepper, which contains a compound called capsaicinoid that is closely related to capsaicin limited studies shows that these capsaicinoids produce effects similar to capsaicin.

 Garlic

Garlic can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries, to reduce blood pressure.

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To read more about the benefits of garlic then click here

 Dark chocolate

2015 study found that eating dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The study suggests that up to 100 gms per day of dark chocolate may be associated with a lower risk of CVD.

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Dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent cocoa solids and has less sugar than regular chocolate.  So you can enjoy your chocolate without feeling guilty it is healthy

 Olive oil

Olive oil is an example of a healthy fat. It contains polyphenols, which are inflammation-fighting compounds that can help reduce blood pressure.

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It’s also a great alternative to canola oil, butter, or commercial salad dressing.

Virgin Coconut Oil

new study looking at Virgin Coconut Oil and Hypertension was just published in Malaysia in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The study compared a diet of “five times heated palm oil” with Virgin Coconut Oil, and a control group.

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Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a healthy fruit that you can enjoy raw or as a juice. One study concluded that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice once a day for four weeks helps lower blood pressure over the short-term.

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Pomegranate juice is tasty with a healthy breakfast. Be sure to check the sugar content in store-bought juices, as the added sugars can negate the health benefits.

GREEN COFFEE

Coffee beans are naturally green, but roasting turns them brown. So in essence, green coffee is just another name for unroasted coffee.

While roasted coffee beans have a similar chemical composition to green coffee beans, the roasting process destroys much of its chlorogenic acid. This is the active ingredient that gives green coffee beans additional health properties. It’s also the ingredient extracted for use in supplements such as green coffee bean extract.

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While green coffee bean extract may not be the “weight-loss miracle” Dr Oz claimed, it does appear to benefit blood flow, at least in the short-term.

One 12-week study using 480 ml green coffee extract (equal to 140 ml of chlorogenic acid) found it reduced heart rate and blood pressure by about 8 percent. These benefits were maintained for 12 weeks of supplementation, but only in those who began with high blood pressure. What’s more, benefits were lost once supplementation stopped.

 

Theoretically, drinking more green coffee should have much of the same benefits as supplementing, but it depends on the chlorogenic acid concentration. Doses used in these studies were equivalent to 120-300 ml of chlorogenic acid.

Try swapping your regular coffee for green coffee and then checking for any blood pressure changes after a month.

While this list is not exhaustive of foods which can help lower your blood pressure it gives you a starting point and please speak to your doctor about your plans you may be pleasantly surprised how receptive doctors are when you want to help yourself rather than just popping some pills.

You will also feel much better…I can vouch for that because I most certainly do and I still have the odd cake and biscuit it is about moderation…


Photos used in this post are taken by me(Carol) or from Pixabay and no attribution is required.