lifestyle

Avocado seeds: To eat or not to eat?

Avocados are one of my most beloved foods. They are so diverse and can be used in a myriad of dishes, from pasta sauces to smoothies to brownies. I honestly don’t think there’s any better feeling than slicing into a fresh avocado and tucking into that green, cool and creamy flesh. I couldn’t live without them.

But suddenly, everyone has stopped talking about the avocado flesh and it’s all about the seeds. It began when a video online emerged encouraging people to eat avocado seeds, raving all about the health benefits and how eating it will turn you into a new person and you’ll suddenly find a new lease for life. So what’s the deal? Are they the way forward?

The internet can be a strange and scary place sometimes. It seems everyone and anyone can make health claims these days and if it’s interesting enough, people will share it and suddenly it goes viral. People want to be part of a club and know about all the health trends as soon as they can. My hairdresser told me he’d started blending up avocado seeds and adding them to his morning smoothie. When I asked him why he simply replied “I saw it online”. My palm hit my face with a resounding thud.

So it turns out that the research behind the nutritional benefits of eating avocado seeds has been done on the extracts from the seed, not a seed that you’ve dried and processed and added to your smoothie. So no seeds were consumed in these studies. Not a single one. You have Guac to be kidding me, what a pit-iful study (I thank you). Also no actual studies have been done on humans to find out if avocado seeds are safe for human consumption. In fact, there was a study undertaken of the toxicity of pit extracts in mice. Doses above 500mg per kg of body weight resulted in acute toxicity and death.

Even the California Avocado Commission states on their website that they do not recommend eating avocado seeds: “The seed of an avocado contains elements that are not intended for human consumption.”

The research for avocado pit munching just isn’t there. Avocados are a great source of fibre, fats, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and there is nothing quite like that creamy goodness. Enjoy them however you will, but just stay away from those seeds, at least until there’s some real scientific evidence to back up the claims.

Kitchen Essentials

Having a good set of kitchen equipment is essential and makes life so much easier when cooking. I've tried a bunch of different products over the last few years and it's all about functionality and ease of use whilst finding something that won't break the bank! It's tricky as sometimes it's best to splash the cash on something that will last for years and years without letting you down rather than having to regularly replace cheap products. 

Food Processor

A food processor is the number one healthy food kitchen must have!

It can do it all. Nut butters, purees, hummus, raw desserts... You name it.

Check out the Kenwood Food Proscessor here. It's not too expensive and really easy to use!

Blender

A blender is another kitchen essential if you're looking to get your healthy on.

Why get a belnder? They're perfect for smoothies, soups and ice cream!

Have a look at the Vonshef blender here which is great quality at a great price.

Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are amazing and such a useful addition to any kitchen! They're perfect for the winter weather to have warm meals to come home to.

I have an old one that's been passed down from my mum but I've heard great things about the Andrew James slow cooker. To find out more, check it out here

So there we go, my kitchen essentials! 

What are your favourite kitchen must haves?

The Truth about 3 Common Health Myths

August 10, 2016


Before you ask, no, pizza isn't the new diet staple food. We can all dream.

But, there are SO many rumours flying around, from the latest diet trend to a new superfood to a claim that a tiny tablet will make you shed fat instantly and you'll turn into Cara Delevigne and grow wings. So I wanted to help you figure out which truths to swallow and what's the science behind some of the most common rumours I've heard recently. 


So sit tight, get yourself a cup of tea and be prepared to have your mind blown.  

1. "Frozen vegetables are SO bad for you!"

Whoa. Let's stop right there. Before I say any more, let me set the scene.

You're in your local supermarket and you're feeling like it's time to get healthy. You mooch (great word) on over to the fresh fruit and veg section. You pick up a courgette (let's call him Steve) and you pop him in your basket. Now you're thinking you're getting a fresh piece of goodness right there. Hate to break it to you but Steve's been on quite a journey. From being picked, bundled up, packed into a crate to landing in your basket, Steve's losing nutrients along the way. Poor guy. 

Now let's head on over to the frozen section and take a look at the frozen veg. It's totally natural to think that fresh is always better because there is a huge stigma attached with frozen foods that they are highly processed and unhealthy choices. But, fresh vegetables are not always best.


Frozen produce is usually frozen almost immediately after being picked, when they are in their "peak freshness", and in a state of being ready to munch. Just before the freezing process, the vegetables are washed, peeled and blanched. Blanching removes any surface dirt, pesticides or bacteria, preserves their freshness and destroys enzymes that would degrade nutrients. Now yes, blanching causing vegetables to lose some of their water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C BUT blanching does have a protective effect on their nutritional content as it locks in the rest of the micronutrients and antioxidants during the storage period. 

 


Frozen vs Fresh

In 100 grams of sweetcorn, there is no different in the fibre or calcium content between fresh and frozen when boiled. Frozen spinach contains more fibre, calcium and Vitamin E than fresh and frozen beans retained twice as much Vitamin C as fresh beans. So there we go! Unless you're really keen to increase your intake of a particular micronutrient or antioxidant, frozen veg is still healthy AND they're not as expensive AND they're all prepared for you so if you're having a lazy day then it's super easy to get these bad boys cooked. So there! Don't turn your nose up next time you head down that frozen aisle! 


2. "Eating fat will make you fat"

Nu-uh! Lies lies lies. 

Obviously it is all about what kind of fat you're eating. If it's healthy fat, it's GOOD! The kind of healthy fats I'm talking about are monounsaturated and essential fatty acids. 

Confused? Okay, I'll give you a list of tasty good fats that should be incorporated into your diet. 

- Avocados [So yummy with eggs, in a salad or cut in half, scooped out and chopped up and mixed with quinoa and veggies then stuffed back in. Mmmmm!]

- Nuts. If you struggle nibbling on some nuts then get yourself some almond butter! Watch yourself slowly turn into a nut butter monster like me who ends up getting through a pot every couple of days. True story. I love it. Am I an animal? Maybe. 

- Seeds [pumpkin, chia, flax etc.] If you feel like you're eating bird feed then disguise these seeds in smoothies, yoghurt and salads. You won't even know they're there and you're getting your daily goodness which will turn you into a glowing goddess.

-  Omega-3 fats. 

- Extra Virgin Olive oil. Drizzled on at the end of dishes. Tip: Don't cook with it! Choose a better alternative such as coconut oil. 

3. "Organic is so much better than non-organic"

The evidence just isn't there to prove that organic food provides a huge amount of health benefits over regular foods. Sometimes I might choose organic food over non-organic but I know it's not essential for my health.  Obviously we don't want to be eating synthetic pesticides all the time but here in the UK, we have some pretty strict EU legislation for regulating pesticides. 

If you are wanting to reduce your pesticide exposure, here are the Dirty Dozen, which are the foods with the most amount of pesticide residue on them: 

  • Strawberries

  • Spinach

  • Pears

  • Apples

  • Nectarines

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • Potatoes

  • Cherries

  • Grapes

  • Chillies

  • Celery

So there we go, hopefully I've cleared up a few questions and you won't be scratching your head over whether or not to buy organic and worrying about eating good fats! 

Chia Seeds!

August 03, 2016

Another week, another new superfood!

Acai, chlorella, wheatgrass, baobab, maca... The list goes on and on.

 

 

Healthy eating is all the rage – Madonna and her coconut water, Michelle Obama raves about sweet potatoes and Gwyneth Paltrow loves a bit of Quinoa. It’s becoming extremely  fashionable to eat well. This surely can only be a good thing, promoting healthy eating!

Now, anyone who has dipped their hand in the healthy eating world has heard of these little gems - Chia seeds.

 

 

But, are they all they’re cracked up to be? Let’s take a look.

So Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia Hispanica (a tricky one to pronounce!) which grew in Mexico dating all the way back to Mayan and Aztecs cultures. So even way back then, chia seeds were on the menu. You can argue that there wasn’t much else around for them to eat but you cannot deny the nutritional value of them.

 

 

The word “Chia” means strength. Very fitting for these tiny little seeds that pack a powerful nutritional punch.

Chia seeds are absolutely bursting with omega-3 fatty acids, protein,  fibre, iron (three times the amount of iron in spinach), antioxidants (three times the amount in blueberries) and calcium (five times the amount in milk)!

Yikes. That’s a whole lot of goodness for something so small.

They are gluten free, absorb into the body easily and vegan friendly so what’s not to love?!

They taste pretty bland so can be added to pretty much anything. They can be eaten raw and soaked in juice. My favourite thing is to soak them in coconut or almond milk the night before and have them with flakes of coconut, nuts and berries in the morning. Delicious! They’re amazing at absorbing liquid – between 8-27 times their weight!

Another favourite of mine is popping a few tablespoons into my morning smoothie.

They can be sprinkled on top of cereal, yoghurt or vegetables.

If you have trouble with eggs then they can be used as an egg substitute in recipes and to thicken sauces.

They sell them in most supermarkets now, but if you still can’t find them, have a look online. Amazon offer a huge range.

 

Now, Superfoods are great, don’t get me wrong, BUT you can’t just rely on them. You need a balanced diet.  It’s all about a rainbow diet, lots of different colours filling your plate so you are getting a whole load of phytonutrients. Use those  superfoods and incorporate them into your diet but don’t think you can just eat a burger and sprinkle it with chia seeds and ta da, it’s healthy. It doesn't work like that! It’s all about the balance.


Stay happy!

Big smooches,

Em

X

Winter Survival Guide

July 30, 2016

Winter has hit and who else has the blues?! The sniffles are making their rounds, there’s a chill in the air and out comes the winter coat. I miss the sunshine and the warmth...Sigh. Time to wrap up and get yourself ready for the winter ahead! Healthy eating can be tricky in the winter due to the lack of sunlight. As it gets darker, we get less exposure to the sun, which can lead to a drop in serotonin. This drop can cause depression and food cravings. Try to spend some time outdoors (even it’s just escaping outside on your lunch break!) and load up on your Vitamin D.

I’ve put together an essential winter survival guide to stop your immune system from letting you down this season.

Nourish yourself with good food

Even though the first thing you probably want to do is tuck into the naughty comfort foods, try and steer clear! Between Halloween and New Year, your immune system can go into a complete meltdown with all the refined sugar and alcohol consumption as it places a huge amount of stress on the immune system and adrenal glands. I know it’s hard as it’s party season but try to limit yourself to just a few treats!

Embrace the gorgeous healthy and seasonal foods that are on offer – pomegranates, cranberries, citrus fruits, grapes and root vegetables. They will help add a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients to your winter plate. Also here are my absolute food essentials that will help you sail through the winter months:

-      Ginger

Ginger has been used for centuries to relieve a sore throat and loosen up congestion. It’s also known to calm an upset stomach and relieve nausea symptoms. Not only that it can also relieve aches and pains due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Crush it up with hot water, the juice of a lemon and two teaspoons of raw honey. A beautiful combination as lemons are bursting with Vitamin C and help detoxify your liver and fight germs. Raw honey gives you all the benefits of the enzymes, vitamins and minerals that you would normally lose during the pasteurisation process. If you feel a sore throat coming on, take a spoonful! Tasty and that sore throat will soon vanish!

-      Garlic

Garlic is absolutely essential if you’re feeling a bit under the weather. Garlic is full of immune-boosting properties that can fight against any nasty infections. Raw crushed garlic is best as this is when it’s antibiotic qualities can do their thing. Word of warning: brush your teeth after otherwise people might start to call you garlic breath...

-      Soup

Homemade soup. None of those yucky tinned ones with more sugar than goodness in. Grab those foods rich in antioxidants – cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach. They are full of immune-boosting power that will have you feeling as right as rain in no time! A steaming bowl of soup on a cold, snowy day is the perfect meal.

Take a breath

Are you one of those people who is desperate to get better quickly? Let’s say you have an important presentation coming up at work or there’s a party that you just HAVE to get better for. Well, I hate to say it, but slow down! Your body needs to recuperate and rest. It’s crying out for a little TLC. Rest is a way of supporting the body’s ability to fight that nasty infection. If you get a good night’s sleep then your immune system will thank you, take my word for it!

3.   Stay positive

I know it’s easy to start feeling sorry for yourself if you’ve got a nasty bout of flu or even just a cold, but don’t! The more positive you are, the quicker you will recover. Write down a list of everything you’re grateful for and think of something to make you smile each day.

4.   Hydrate

Drink, drink, drink! Get those fluids in you. When you’re ill, those fluids fly out of you quickly. It’s so essential to keep yourself hydrated as dehydration can make you feel 100 times worse. Have a mug of green tea each day. It’s not only yummy but several studies have shown that green tea has antiviral properties.

Stay active!

It’s so easy to just sit back, cosy up and lounge around all the time. But, get your butt off that sofa and get moving! Getting out in the cold weather might seem like an impossible task but you’ll be so glad you did it. It doesn’t have to involve a trip to the gym on a dark winter morning, but try joining a local Zumba class with a friend or doing workouts in the comfort of your own home. I’d recommend having a look on Youtube for Cassey Ho at Blogilates, her workouts are easy to follow and you’ll  definitely feel that burn!

Extra tips and tricks for staying healthy this winter:

Gargle salt water if you feel a sore throat coming on (don’t drink it though, your tummy will not thank you!), have a hot steamy shower to clear your nasal passage, make sure you’re doing things that make you happy every day, wrap up warm, wash your hands as often as you need and show your skin some love by making sure you moisturise!

 

So there you have it, my top tips to keep yourself healthy and happy this winter season!

Do you have any tips for staying healthy during the cold months? 

X

Please reload

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

Expertise

Digestive health

Hormone issues

Weight management

COMPANY

About Om Nom Health

FAQs

Contact us

Cookie policy

Privacy policy

social

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Linkedin

NEWSLETTER

Join our mailing list to keep up to date with wellness tips, recipes events and offers.

By signing up, you accept the terms of Om Nom Health's Privacy Policy and consent to receive e-mails with access to our latest recipes, events and information.

Reading, Berkshire | info@omnomhealth.co.uk01183 282270