Five foods to boost your mood

When it comes to boosting your mood, food is often a source of comfort for us. But did you know that which foods you each can actually affect how you’re feeling? That’s right, so although you might feel that sweets or your favourite packet of crisps will help you feel better, there’s actual foods that can help deliver the nutrition you need to feel better from the inside out.

Here are five of these amazing foods and the reasons why adding them to your balanced diet is sure to boost your mood and make you happier.

1. Dark chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Okay, so maybe your favourite milk chocolate won’t suffice but dark chocolate does in fact have the feel-good promoting factor. It comes from the taste and a chemical called phenylethylamine. As if you needed another excuse to eat chocolate, so bite into a dark chocolate bar and you don’t even have to feel bad about it!

2. Brazil nuts

These are rich in selenium that research shows promote happiness! Just don’t consume the whole packet. Grab a handful of Brazil nuts and enjoy the taste and the feel-good benefits.

3. Peas

Rich in vitamin B1, peas may not scream happiness, but they will help calm your nerves. Fill up on mashed peas and do so knowing that they’re not only good for you, but they’ll make you feel better too.

4. Brown rice

Brown rice contains vitamins B1 and B3, and folic acid – it’s a vitamin haven! It’s also a low-glycemic food meaning it releases glucose into the bloodstream gradually, preventing sugar lows and mood swings. Swap brown rice for white rice and you’ll be set to go with all the health benefits of this awesome food.

5. Bananas

Bananas are not only packed with goodness but the B6 in them and carbohydrates help to boost your low mood too, and who doesn’t love a banana?

It is also important to remember that skipping meals and certain, bad foods will lower your mood. So even if you reach for that crisp packet now, you might not feel so good about it later.

Remember that health begins from the inside, so mind your diet and incorporate some of these happy foods into a healthy, balanced diet to reap the mood boosting benefits of these five wholesome and awesome foods.

healthy food healthy joints

Healthy Foods for Healthy Joints

Although there is no cure for arthritis, along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, certain foods can help ease the inflammation that causes pain in the joints.

Aerobic exercise has also been found to help reduce the inflammation of joints and if it is too painful, swimming is a great alternative for keeping the body active and healthy

Here are just some of the foods that you should include in your diet:

 Salmon

Salmon has both calcium and vitamin D to help keep the bones strong. Additionally, salmon and other oily fish are loaded with omega-3’s, which helps curb inflammation in the joints.

Peppers

Red peppers are brimming with vitamin C, which helps your body make collagen – the part of your cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that cushions the joints and holds them together.

Cherries

Fresh cherries and tart cherry juice have been found to help curb inflammation. This is due to the plant chemicals that help cherries get their beautiful, bright crimson colour.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a staple in Indian food. It’s rich in a chemical called curcumin, which a study found to work as well as ibuprofen in easing knee aches and pains.

Try making a turmeric latte to gain the great benefits of curcumin without the overpowering taste of this healthy spice.

Oatmeal

Oats contain a concentrate source of fibre and nutrients. Along with being a great source of energy, whole grains have also been found to help reduce inflammation. So ditch the sugary cereals, and grab a bowl of organic oatmeal and dress it up with fresh berries for an anti-inflammatory bowl of goodness.

Walnuts

Walnuts are an indulgent nut and due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients, they help counter inflammation. However, keep in mind that while they are good for you, they are also high in calories, so limit yourself to a small handful as a healthy snack during the day.

 

healthy brain nutrition

Nutrition for a Healthy Brain

When we think of nutrition and the consumption and absorption of nutrients, we usually don’t think of the brain as needing it’s  own special diet. However, the brain – being of the most important organs in the whole of the human body, certainly does require certain nutrients in order to stay healthy in the long run.

While it is always important to maintain a healthy brain, it becomes even more vital to do so once we reach old age. Doing so can help us maintain mental clarity and help keep our concentration and overall mental performance sharp.

 

You’d be surprised to learn that the brain uses one fifth of all the blood pumped by the heart, therefore the right food and drink are important to keep it working properly. Here are some of the foods that a healthy brain craves:

Oily fish

Salmon, herring and mackerel are all excellent sources of omega-3, which your brain needs to stay healthy.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a source of healthy fat and can actually help reduce both high cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Groundbreaking studies have linked the consumption of olive oil with a reduced risk of ischaemic stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and general cognitive impairment.

Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, açai berries, and other  deep-coloured fruits and veggies such as spinach, beetroot and beans are essential for a healthy brain. All of these tend to be high in antioxidants, which help guard against disease by protecting cells in the body and brain from damage.

Avocados

Avocados, aside from being delicious are also an essential part of a healthy brain diet. Along with other foods containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (nuts, seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables) and monounsaturated fatty acids (olive oil, nuts) they have been found to help reduce the risk of dementia and depression.

Dark Chocolate

Good news for chocolate lovers: a small piece of dark chocolate per day is what your brain needs to garner the antioxidant benefits of cocoa. However, chocolate is also high in sugar and fat, so make sure to not overindulge.

Green Tea

Aside from being another rich source of antioxidants, green tea consumption can improve brain function, aid in fat loss, lower the risk of cancer and most importantly, it keeps the body hydrated.

 

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Avoiding Processed Meat and Reducing Your Risk of Cancer

A new study shocked us into thinking healthier last year, when the World Health Organization came out with the claim that for each 50 gram portion of processed meat, the risk of colorectal cancer increases by 18%. 

This is an astounding and shocking claim for meat eaters as it places the bacon, ham, sausages and other meats that have been modified by smoking, curing or adding salt or preservatives, alongside other dangerous carcinogens, such as cigarettes.

Considering  that 50g of processed meat is equal to two slices of bacon, this claim is not just talking about overconsumption, but instead suggests that avoiding processed meat altogether should be part of maintaining a healthy diet.

Through this study, red meat has also been labelled as “probably carcinogenic,” citing limited evidence as to it’s effect on health. Cancer Research UK spoke up about the new findings saying that this is reason to cut down on red and processed meat consumption. Additionally, high temperature cooking, such as on a barbecue, can also create carcinogenic chemicals.

Just how bad is meat consumption? 

The WHO has come to the conclusion on the advice of its International Agency for Research on Cancer, which assesses the best available scientific evidence. It has now placed processed meat in the same category as plutonium and alcohol as substances which can definitely cause cancer: 

“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,”

– Dr Kurt Straif, WHO

The decision from the IARC, after a year of deliberations by international scientists, will be welcomed by cancer researchers.

Unfortunately for the meat industry, as the negative health benefits of meat consumption continue to come to light, the benefits of a plant-based diet such as vegetarianism and veganism are rapidly becoming more and more appealing as these better contribute to maintaining overall health and longevity.

plant-based diet for the elderly

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet for the Elderly

As we age, our bodies needs change and demand vital nutrients in order to enable us to continue to feel our best. However, as our levels of activity decrease, so do our caloric needs. For this reason, a balanced, plant-based diet can be ideal for the elderly.

While a plant-based diet is nutritious at all times of life, a vegan diet can be essential in providing the vitamins and minerals that ageing bodies need such as vitamin C, folate, riboflavin, vitamin D, iron, potassium and fibre. Additionally, a well-balanced plant-based diet can prevent obesity and decrease the risk of disease.

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

There’s different levels of following a plant-based diet, and for the elderly, a variety of them could be ideal depending on pre-existing diet and medical conditions.

Flexitarian

A flexitarian is a part-time vegetarian. This type of diet incorporates a reduced meat intake. Although animal products aren’t eliminated entirely, this type of diet could be ideal for elderly adults looking to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets without having to give up animals products all at once.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

A lacto-ovo vegetarian is a non-meat eater who still enjoys eggs and all dairy products including cow’s milk, cheese and yoghurt. This diet could be appropriate for someone who is ready to eliminate meat consumption altogether, but still wants to enjoy some animal products – ideal for those with pre-existing conditions that require a high calcium intake.

lacto Vegetarian

A lacto vegetarian diet eliminates meat and eggs, but still allows for the consumption of dairy products such as cow’s milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Plant-Based

A plant-based diet consists of abstaining from all animal products or by-products. This includes complete abstinence from meat, eggs and all dairy products. This type of diet is ideal for someone passionate about health and ready to make a serious change to their diet.

Vegan

Veganism is most often seen as a lifestyle. This not only includes complete abstinence from all animal products and by-products like in a plant-based diet, but vegans often also refrain from using other non-edible animal products such as leather. Veganism is perfect for all animal lovers who are passionate about preventing animal cruelty and defending animal rights.

Whether you’ve been a meat eater all your life and are curious about a plant-based diet, or are a natural flexitarian looking to take the plunge into a healthier diet, Canwick House Residential Care Home is happy to help our clients in their journey towards a healthier, more nutritious lifestyle.