As we say goodbye to the summer sun, our vitamin D levels start to decline as we head into autumn and winter. If you had plenty of sun exposure over the summer, your levels of vitamin D may keep you going for a while, however due to indoor lifestyles, many of us don’t even get adequate exposure in the summer, meaning that by wintertime you may find that your levels decline down to a deficient or insufficient state. Approximately 1 in 5 people in the UK have deficient or insufficient vitamin D levels. From my experience in clinic, this is something that I see a lot of, regardless of the time of year.
Most of us have heard about the many amazing benefits that regular exercise can provide for your health, including good cardiovascular health, mental wellbeing, weight control, blood glucose control and improved musculoskeletal health. But can these health benefits alone motivate people to exercise in some way 5-7 times a week? For some people this may be more than enough, but for others, if the enjoyment factor is missing, it will be a lot harder to get motivated and there will always be something more pressing to attend to!
It's always great to try different variations on favourite dishes. This is what fills the pages of most cookbooks, publications and foodie blogs, as people look for new and updated ideas. However, a classic dish done well is hard to beat. These are often dishes that have been passed through families for generations and the reason for this is that they taste great!
Winter Squash is such a lovely winter vegetable. Not only does it have a sweet comforting taste. But it is rich in antioxidants, and also has anti-inflammatory and insulin regulating properties. It also has several nutrients in it that are beneficial for eye health.
One of the most important things you can do for your health is to enjoy an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Studies are now suggesting we should be aiming as high as 10 portions* a day, and while this isn't always easy for some people, we can all work out our own personal targets to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetable we consume on a daily basis.
This Mexican inspired one-pot dish is great for a mid-week family meal. It takes less than 20 minutes and uses mostly store cupboard ingredients.
This meal is vegan with plenty of protein coming from the quinoa and black beans. And even if you aren't vegetarian or vegan, try it a meat-free Monday meal.
Do you think you could have some kind of food intolerance? Something that doesn’t quite agree with you?
It’s really important to fix this, especially if you’ve had niggly symptoms for years.
These nut-free energy balls are great for kids packed lunch boxes as they taste like a sweet treat, but without the refined sugar, and contain lots of nutritious goodness. They are also perfect to take to work as a snack, or just to keep in the fridge when you are at home.
After a long summer its time to go back to school, and for many parents this means preparing a daily packed lunch. If you often get stuck on what to put into your child’s packed lunch that is nutritious and that they will actually eat, then read on.
Calcium is vital in all stages of life, from young growing children, all the way through to old age. Calcium makes up 1-2% of an adults body weight, making it the most abundant mineral in the body. Most of us remember being told to drink our milk at school as it contains Calcium to make our bones healthy. And while this fact is true, you will see that Calcium can be found in many food sources other than dairy.
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Francesca Grace Lancaster
Nutrition in Northwood, Rickmansworth and surrounding areas.