Health Benefits Of Dates – The Ultimate Training Food

Health Benefits Of Dates - The Ultimate Training Food

If you’ve ever tried a medijool date then you will know they really are a yummy, sticky sweet treat that is also perfectly healthy as well as delicious. In fact the health benefits of dates really are astounding, and as they are so full of nutrient dense energy I would also class them as the ULTIMATE training food.

I’m talking specifically about the medijool date variety, as these really are the Rolls Royce of the date world both in taste and nutrition. They mostly come dried and taste super sweet, almost caramely in fact, and are the perfect fix when you are craving a something sweet, or are just in dire need of an energy boost.


THE ULTIMATE TRAINING FOOD:dates will give you energy for exercise

This is why they are a great fitness training food for both before, during AND after exercise, due to the fact they are packed full of low GI sugar that will give you a slow and sustained energy release. This is because they fit the perfect macronutrient requirements of a training food: each date contains 66 calories, 17g carbs, and barely zero protein and fat (making them similar to most energy gels – but more nutritious).

The sugars in dates, although they high, are in the form of glucose, fructose, and sucrose, and are easily broken down and processed by the body, which is exactly what is needed when you need an instant but long lasting energy fix.


A Perfectly Packaged Super Food:

They also come perfectly packaged, are easy to transport and do not spoil easily, meaning you can either eat them straight out of the fridge or wrap them in some tin foil and take them on with you on your run, or to the gym.

And dates aren’t just for those in training, they are good for EVERYBODY – including diabetics, plus they also have a number of other health benefits which is why they are well worth incorporating into your every day diet every.



A healthy ‘plant based diet’ will require you to make sure you are eating lots of good sources of plant proteins, plus lots of nutrients – especially calcium. Fortunately dates are abundant in all of these, and boast an impressive nutritional profile with high amounts of calcium, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also high in soluble and insoluble fiber.



Medijool dates are what I would call ‘nature’s very own candy‘, and if you feel an itch for a sweet treat then dates will certainly scratch it, AND they are guilt free! They come in low on the glycemic index scale at 43-55 for non diabetics and 43-53 for type 2 diabetics (diabetics can eat up to 3 a day if the rest of their food is healthy) – but as with everything they will still need to be eaten in moderation, OR instead of other treats if you don’t want to gain weight.


HEART HEALTHYdates are good for your heart and help to lower cholesterol

Medijool dates are good for your heart as their both soluble and insluble fiber content helps lower bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides; this in turn lowers your risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. Taken along with a healthy diet and regular exercise dates may help act as a preventative measure against all of the above.



The high amounts of key nutrients in dates are perfect for strong bones: such as calcium and phosphorus, both of which are needed for bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also needed for the repair, maintenance, and growth of our cells and tissues.

Calcium is crucial to the healthy function of nerves, muscles and heart, and is the NUMBER ONE mineral for helping to prevent osteoporosis. It is worth noting that contrary to popular belief ,there are many plant foods that are higher in calcium than dairy products, and in some cases are also more easily absorbed.

Please check out this list of other ‘High Calcium Plant Foods’ and be sure to add them to your diet as much as possible. As you age you need MORE calcium than ever as your bones will be becoming more fragile, and your absorption rate will be lower.


ANTI INFLAMMATORYdates are anti inflammatory along with omega 3 fish oils

Dates, along with most other plant foods are anti inflammatory, and therefore may help to fight chronic inflammation in the body. This in turn may help to ease pain (especially the pain caused by inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune disease, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease).

Chronic inflammation is something that affects many of us and it can be triggered from many sources, such as sugar, trans fats, alcohol, tobacco, pollution, and toxins in the environment, these toxins can eventually lead to disease and illness. You can help to lower this inflammation by eating anti inflammatory, antioxidant rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, nuts, seeds and the omega 3 fats found in fish oils.



Dates are a high antioxidant fruit, and antioxidants are needed in abundance in our diet, especially as we are living in such a toxic world. Antioxidants help slow down the aging process of our bodies, both inside and out, as they neutralise free radicals before they can damage our cells and DNA. This damage, when left out of control, can lead to premature aging and degenerative disease.

Make sure you also eat an antioxidant rich diet and add in these ‘Antioxidant Rich Foods’ EVERY DAY to be sure you are keeping yourself healthy and your immune system strong.  

Thank you for reading, and if you would like to add any comments to this post then I would love to hear what you have to say. So please feel free to post below.


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What is Wheatgrass? – Top 10 Amazing Wheatgrass Benefits

Wheatgrass is a chlorophyll rich super food that is closely related to wheat but harvested early on its development – just 7 to 10 days after sprouting. Not only is it abundant in life giving nutrients, but it is also easy to incorporate into your every day diet by either juicing it yourself, or simply taking a shot of the dried powder. Let’s take a closer look at these Top 10 Amazing  Wheatgrass Benefits so you can see for yourself the impact this super food can have on your health.


1. CHLOROPHYLLWheatgrass is High in Chlorophyll

Wheatgrass is one of the best known sources of chlorophyll, and in fact 70% of the wheatgrass plant is made up of this powerful blood building nutrient.

In the plant world, chlorophyll is needed for the absorption of light in a process called photosynthesis. This process creates the energy for a plant to grow and repair itself – so you can only imagine how great this must can be for us too.



Chlorophyll is high in the antioxidants needed to fight free radical damage in the body. Free radicals are harmful, unpaired electrons that wreak havoc on our health but antioxidants can neutralise these unpaired electrons before they cause us harm.

Antioxidants also help to stave off the aging process in general, and may help protect us against diseases such as cancer, dementia, heart disease, and many others degenerative diseases .


3. PROTEINProtein Builds Muscle and keeps you strong

Wheatgrass is especially high in protein and contains 17 amino acids – all of which are the actual building blocks of protein. It is a highly alkaline protein that is great for building lean muscle tissue, and also helping with the repair of torn and inflamed muscles after sports. This makes it a great training supplement alongside other good sources of protein.



Because wheatgrasses ability to neutralise toxins, remove heavy metals and purify the liver, it is great for keeping the body in a good state of detoxification.

Keeping the body in a high state of detoxification is crucial in today’s world where we are continually exposed to exhaust fumes, chemicals, pesticides, fertilisers, household cleaning products, air fresheners, toiletries and that’s not to mention the junk foods, sugar, and trans fats that are abundant in our diets.

Our poor bodies need to process these toxins, then either eliminate them or store them into fat cells where they can do no harm – but all this can lead to problems such as weight gain, brain fog, lethargy, and eventually disease.


5. ENERGYWheatgrass boosts energy

Wheatgrass is proven to give you a zing of energy within 20 minutes, mainly due to the fact its nutrients can be absorbed very quickly, making it a fantastic supplement for athletes, those in training OR anybody really. Who couldn’t do without more energy?



Due to their free radical scavenging abilities the antioxidants in wheatgrass can help to prevent cancer, and in some cases even slow it down after it has already begun to grow. One study has shown wheatgrass to slow down oral cancer growth and other studies have had similar findings.

Wheatgrass may also help improve and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy.



The fiber and nutrient level in wheatgrass has been shown to raise insulin levels, which will help in the lowering of blood glucose. This benefit makes it a great supplement for diabetics along with their regular treatment.



Low GI Fruits keep blood sugar stable

Wheatgrass has a very low GI value. GI is the shortened term for glycemic index, and is the measurement of how fast the sugars in a food hit the bloodstream. 

Low GIycemic foods, and a low GI diet in general, will keep blood sugar stable and slash your risk of diabetes, cancers, inflammatory diseases and obesity. Plus it will help keep you in shape by lowering your body fat percentage.

Low GI foods are unrefined whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, protein, pulses, nuts and seeds. In fact, there is so much to be said for eating a low GI diet that it deserves a whole post. For an easy way to start your low GI healthy diet please read Easy Steps to Eating Clean‘ where you’ll find quick and easy to follow tips and advice to help you kick start your healthy eating plan.



Wheatgrass has traditionally been used for a very long time in the treatment of stomach ache and diarrhea, and is found to be particularly good in the treatment of symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis.

Despite its name wheatgrass is totally gluten free and so is a great addition to the diet of those who are gluten intolerant.



Chronic inflammation is now thought to be behind almost all modern day illnesses and diseases, and is mainly due to our acidic diets and environment. Inflammation under normal circumstances is the body’s response to a knock, injury, or infection and is vital to protect and heal the wound. But sometimes this response goes into overdrive leaving us with chronic low grade inflammation that we are not aware of, and this is the kind of inflammation that can lead to problems and disease in the long term.

Wheatgrass, along with many other alkaline foods such as those on a plant based diet, can help negate this and put the body into a more alkaline state, making it much less susceptible to illness and disease.


Super Food Blends:Green Super Food Powder for fat burning

Along with wheatgrass, there are other green super food powders that can help when it comes to making the body more alkaline. My personal favorite being Dr. Schulzes green super food powder which not only contains wheatgrass, but a mix of lots of other green goodies such as spirulina, barleygrass, chlorella, blue-green algae, and other fruits and vegetables that all help with the absorption of these green super foods.

This amazing stuff is on another level and makes you glow from the inside out, and like with wheatgrass you can literally feel that energy boost kicking in within 20 minutes, but even MORE so. These dried super food powders really do combine together to make a explosive and potent mix.

Click here for more information on Dr. Schulzes Super Food Powderwhich will offer you an all over health boost for immunity, energy and glowing healthy skin.

Always buy where possible ORGANIC WHEATGRASS POWDER to avoid pesticide and fertilizer residue, which may detract from the wheatgrasses potential health benefits.


Grow your own wheatgrass:

If you fancy yourself as green fingered you may want to have a go at growing your own fresh wheatgrass. Check out this video tutorial below.

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Turmeric Benefits and Side Effects – Homemade Turmeric Paste



Turmeric Benefits and Side Effects - Homemade Turmeric Paste

I never stop hearing fantastic things about the benefits of the anti inflammatory spice turmeric lately, it seems the world has gone crazy for it – and for good reason, as it’s protection against so many illnesses and diseases is starting to become mind blowingly apparent.

In this post I will go into more depth of turmeric benefits and side effects, and also give you a recipe for the tasty and healing homemade turmeric paste that I eat every day and which can be enjoyed by all the family.



Turmeric is a plant of the ginger family known as Zingiberaceae, and is native to India and South East Asia where it is eaten every day, and used in many dishes. It is also used traditionally in Chinese and Indian medicine as a powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many illnesses and diseases and turmeric is the most effective anti inflammatory, natural supplement known.

In the Herbal Apothecary where I work I have noticed lately (and even more so in the last few months) that people are buying up more turmeric than ever, be it in the form of supplement capsules, teas, sprays, tinctures or powder. It is all hugely popular, and we can barely keep up with demand.


Turmeric Powder, Capsules and Fresh


This has led me to have a greater understanding of the powers of turmeric, through this first hand personal customer feedback. I often hear stories from customers who simply cannot live without turmeric, especially in the fight against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Alzeimer’s.

I recently heard a testimony from a man who told me he was crippled with arthritis a couple of years ago, and at the time was on a cocktail of drugs from the doc, which as usual had a list of side effects as long as both of your arms. Anyway, long story short, this guy had  started making this ‘turmeric paste‘ he called it, and he told me that it helped his condition so much that he no longer takes any medications and has no pain or inflammation anymore.

He also gives it to his 95 year old father who is still as nimble as a flea and sharp as a tack…at 95! He puts it also, down to the turmeric!

I’m not saying for a minute you should stop taking all medications and start taking turmeric to cure all your ills, that wouldn’t be my place or responsibility. I’m simply telling you what I know, and what I’ve been told in the feedback I get in my job.


Turmeric Paste Recipe:

Obviously, I got the recipe for this amazing turmeric paste from the gentleman, which contains along with the turmeric, all the components needed for maximum absorption: such as black pepper and fats – plus other ingredients that work well alongside it like ginger and lemon.

I went home that evening made this paste for myself, and I’ve got to say it tasted yummy, but I did need to sweeten it with a natural sugar free sweetener (I used Xylitol).

This leads me onto another success story as I then took a jar of it up to my parents and told them to eat 2-3 teaspoons a day – being as they are of an age now where they will start becoming more susceptible to illness I though this would be great for them…and it was!



It happens my mum had this chesty cough that she just couldn’t shift for the last 3 months, and she’d tried everything from cough medicines to antibiotics, plus she was on turmeric capsules already. When I gave her the turmeric paste I wasn’t even thinking that it would do anything for her cough, but she phoned me only a couple of days later and told me that her cough had completely gone, she couldn’t believe it had disappeared so fast and said she knew 100% it was down to the turmeric.

I can only presume after hearing this that the powerful anti inflammatory properties of this turmeric paste had worked their magic. I was elated, and this is the catalyst for this post so should share these findings with others.




Dried Turmeric Root

I believe from my research  that turmeric needs to be taken with other components for maximum absorption – which is why this remedy worked so well for my mum. The particular capsules she was already taking were just turmeric powder alone and so it seems didn’t have the power to shift her chesty cough. But when she took the paste, at higher doses, AND mixed with all the other anti inflammatory components it worked like an absolute charm.


A True Super Food!

Along with the benefits I’ve already discussed, turmeric also has a long list of others. More and more studies offering proof and evidence of turmeric’s super food power are emerging every day.

You will notice that sometimes I use the word curcumin, which is actually the extracted active compound of turmeric, and can only be found in large doses in tablet or capsule form. Actual turmeric powder contains only about 2% curcumin by weight.

In some cases, where disease has already taken hold, a high dose curcumin supplement may be needed, but this should be taken alongside the other compounds mentioned above to aid absorption. Many supplements don’t provide these all in one so you have to shop about for good quality.



There are different schools of though about high dose curcumin extract. Yes, numerous studies show it to be effective and it absolutely is, but look at my example above of the man who already had terrible arthritis and healed himself through the paste. This would have only had a fraction of the curcumin in it as opposed to a high strength curcumin extract supplement. This still worked for him, and maybe better,  who knows. But some experts believe that the body reacts much better to eating the ‘whole food’, as it is more natural than high does extracts. 



Their is also a notion about the ‘absorbability‘ of fractured foods such as high dose extracted compound supplements – but you should definitely test this for yourself, and this doesn’t apply to ALL supplements. Don’t forget the fact that their are cultures who eat natural turmeric in their diet every day who do not suffer diseases on the huge scale that we do, and they mostly don’t use supplements.

For preventative purposes, I would take the time to prepare the paste as it is a proper ‘food‘ with substance. And if taken before meals will help satiate you and prevent you from over eating, which also makes it great for weight control. A teaspoon a day (one before each meal ideally) would be a good amount for prevention purposes, but for helping with ailments that are already there you may need more (up to a dessert spoon before each meal), until symptoms have subsided.




ANTI INFLAMMATORYAlzheimer's Disease

  • Long term and chronic inflammation can become a major problem, and is now believed to play a role in pretty much every western chronic disease. This includes alzheimer’s, dementia, cancers, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and many other degenerative conditions.
  • Chronic inflammation can also cause hair loss which can be very distressing, especially for women. Please visit this page ‘Inflammation and Hair Loss’ for tips and advice on how to grow your lovely locks back.
  • The curcumins in turmeric have a powerful anti inflammatory effect and have been proven to match the effectiveness of some anti inflammatory drugs, all without the rotten side effects.



  • Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant (one of the most powerful there is), and it’s these antioxidants that protect our bodies from the aging that is down to DNA damaging free radicals. These free radicals cause oxidative damage throughout the body, but antioxidants neutralise them before they can do damage, thus making them an anti aging superstar. And above all that, curcumin also helps boost your body’s own natural antioxidant enzymes, giving a double whammy of protection.


BRAIN FUNCTIONHelps brain power

  • Curcumin boosts levels of a brain hormone called BDNF which is our brain function hormone, therefore  delaying or even reversing brain and age related diseases such as alzheimer’s and dementia. This means (although there are no official studies yet) that there is a more than likely chance that it can improve memory and learning – so it can actually makes you smarter!



  • As the biggest killer in the world, heart disease is something we all need to be aware of and already be taking preventative measures towards. Looking after ourselves in general by eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise goes without saying, but there is more you can do like adding turmeric to your diet.
  • Several studies suggest that adding turmeric into the diet can help improve the endothelium function, (which is the heart blood vessel linings). Endothelial dysfunction means an inability to regulate blood pressure, clotting of the blood, and other factors that are all a major drivers of heart disease.



  • Multiple studies in laboratory’s show that curcumin can reduce the growth of tumors, the spreading of cancer, and contribute to overall cancer cell death. This study has yet to be tested properly on humans but is something that is looking promising for the future.
  • There is however, evidence of turmeric preventing cancer in the first place, especially for digestive system cancers – giving us yet another sound reason to incorporate it into out diet.



  • Alzheimers is the leading cause of dementia, and as of yet there is no good treatment available; therefore and especially in this case, prevention is definitely better than cure considering there isn’t one. Curcumin has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier where it is then able to do what it does best, and help protect the brain from inflammation and oxidative damage – both of which are precursers of alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive disorders.


ARTHRITISInflamed Joints and arthritis

  • Although there are several forms of arthritis, they are all based on inflammation of the joints. Turmeric is a potent anti inflammatory, and so it stands to reason that it would help ease this painful condition. In fact, in a study of patients suffering rheumatoid arthritis anti inflammatory drugs were found to be less effective than curcumin.



  • In a study of 60 patients, it was shown that curcumin lead to results similar to prozac and yet again, without the side effects. This is more than likely due to the fact that curcumin boosts BNDF levels which can help reverse some of the changes in the brain associated with depression.
  • There is also evidence that the neurotransmitter’s dopamine and serotonin are boosted by curcumin.



Turmeric powder or root when taken in its whole form such as the paste, should be experimented with to find gut tolerance. If you are new to turmeric you may find it gives you a slight upset stomach, or maybe diarrhea if you take to much. I advise to start with a little and build up.

Curcumin extract when taken in high doses is still considered very safe to use, but rare side effects may include headache, diarrhea, digestive problems, skin rash and in some cases can contribute to gallstones.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: If you are going to make the turmeric powder paste you should be minful of where you source your turmeric, as many have lots of nasty fillers, chemicals and colourings. You MUST buy organic at all times to be sure you have pure, unadulterated turmeric.

If you are buying supplements of curcumin or turmeric in capsules, always buy from a trusted brand and make sure that it is in an absorbable form. I have sourced out a trustworthy brand for you if you decide you may need something easier to take and higher strength. 

Amazon: Turmeric capsules with black pepper

Turmeric is just one super food you can supplement your diet with, adding other chlorophyll rich super food powders to your diet will really enhance the others. My absolute all round favorite anti aging, anti inflammatory and detoxifying super food is Dr. Schulzes super food green powder. This stuff gives you a zing and a burst of energy within 20 minute s and makes your skin glow and your eyes sparkle!




INGREDIENTSTurmeric Paste Ingredients

2 tablespoons turmeric powder1 tablespoon ginger powder
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
grated rind and juice of 2 lemons (optional, but make it taste nice)
1 tablespoon of black pepper
Xylitol or another natural sweetener to taste (if you feel you need it)
About 50-100ml water

Put everything EXCEPT olive oil in a saucepan and heat until just below boiling. Take off heat immediately. Leave to cool right down before adding the olive oil (extra virgin olive oils benefit’s are destroyed by heating). Sometimes the liquid seems to curdle but take no notice of this as it still tastes the same.

Put into a glass jar and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The fat may separate so to avoid this you can stirbit a couple of times before it is fully chilled to disperse the fats.

Once cool store in the fridge and eat a teaspoon (or more if you already have problems) 2-3 times a day. You can add to warm water or smoothies if you prefer to make a drink out of it.

If you haven’t decided to add lemon into the recipe then the paste goes down nicely in a warm nut milk as a bedtime drink.

Taking a teaspoon of the paste before before meal is satiating and will stop you from eating too much – making it also good for weight control.


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Dark Chocolate and health – 5 Dark Chocolate Health Benefits

Dark Chocolate and health - 5 Dark Chocolate Health Benefits


Who doesn’t like to indulge in silky smooth and creamy chocolate? It can be pure heaven, and I for one have no intention of giving it up…EVER! Thankfully, we shouldn’t feel too guilty about this pleasure, and if we eat the 70% minimum cacao solids type then dark chocolate and health can be a marriage made in heaven! Read on and find out about the little known 5 dark chocolate health benefits that will give you an excuse to indulge any time you please.



The average person eats about 12 pounds of chocolate per year (me more), but most people are eating the low quality, high sugar and high fat versions. Many of these contain so little actual cocoa powder that they have no benefits at all, and in fact swing in the complete opposite direction making them a junk food.

This is definitely not the healthy and antioxidant rich variety that I am going to talk about in this post. For starters, you should aim for at least 70% minimum cacao solids; most quality brands will tell you on the packaging how much cacao is in their chocolate.


Cacao Content:Dark Chocolate is anti aging

You can start yourself at 70% then build up a bit higher as your taste buds become accustomed to it. I actually prefer 80-85% these days because I’m not craving the sugar in chocolate anymore, and only recently I come across 100% cacao chocolate which I was convinced would be quite terrible but actually tasted, well… nice! Cacao actually has a sweetish taste even without sugar but that’s probably because I’m so used to it.


Buy Organic!

Try to buy organic chocolate where possible, as cacao beans are notorious for being sprayed with huge amounts of fertilisers and pesticides. It definitely won’t harm to buy some of the lovely new ‘raw‘ chocolates that are out there, these haven’t been roasted and so have all their nutrients intact.

You could also buy yourself a good quality cocoa powder and make hot chocolate, cakes or whatever else you fancy putting chocolate into. Below I shall post an easy recipe for my homemade, super healthy chocolate that contains just a few ingredients. Beware – it’s addictive!




1. ANTI AGING SUPER FOODAnti Aging Superfood

The massive antioxidant content of dark chocolate helps to fight free radicals in the body. This is good news because free radicals steal healthy electrons from our cells structures and cause havoc, damaging DNA as they go, causing premature aging and eventually the onset of  disease.

Cacao is specifically high in the antioxidant antholyanidin, and also epicatechins. These stop all this bad stuff from happening by disarming those free radicals before they can do damage.



Flavenols have a positive effect on hear health by improving the flow of blood to both the heart and the brain, and helping to lower blood pressure. These flavenols also make blood platelets less sticky and harder to clot, therefore reducing the risk of both blood clots and strokes.



Dark chocolate also contains cocoa butter, which in itself is a heart healthy monounsaturated fat. There have been many studies on the effect of polyphenols in dark chocolate and heart health, including its ability to lower bad cholesterol.



Chocolate boosts memory power

Studies suggest that the flavenols in dark chocolate increase blood flow to cerebral matter, making it good for memory, focus, and cognitive performance. Dark chocolate is actually HIGHER in antioxidants than super fruit powders such as acai, blueberry, cranberry and even pomegranate.

Pairing super foods like cacao (though probably not together) with other antioxidant rich super food powders such as my personal favorite Dr. Schulze’s green super food powder will give you a full spectrum of different antioxidants, phytonutrients and nutrients for good all round health and vitality.

And there’s more good news – these same flavenols are also found in red wine and tea, suggesting that not all good things in life are bad for us – providing we don’t go over board of course!



Although the studies in this field are still emerging and with good prospects, it stands to reason that with its impressive amounts of antioxidants and flavenoids, dark chocolate may play a role in the cancer protection and treatment field…as if you needed another reason to carry on eating this fantastic treat daily.

For more antioxidant rich Superfoods please visit my page ‘Best Budget Superfoods‘ where you will find out just how easy it can be to transform your diet and health by just making a few simple swaps.





Ingredients:Homemade Raw healthy Chocolate
  • 1 part extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 part good quality 100% cocoa powder (preferably raw cocoa powder for super health benefits)
  • Healthy sweetener to taste. I use Xylitol or stevia because syrups will just sink to the bottom. Plus these are low GI sugars.
  • Tiny pinch of sea salt


Other optional ingredients of your choice include nuts, seeds, desiccated coconut (my favorite version), dried fruits OR anything else you can possibly imagine. Go wild with it.

Method: Heat coconut oil gently in a saucepan until just melted, but not too hot. It is important to keep nutrients intact by not over heating these products. Add all other ingredients and stir until smooth. Put into a tin pre-lined with tin foil of any size or shape. I use a bigger tin as I like my chocolate to be thinner and have that ‘snap‘. Put in fridge or freezer until set and enjoy.

It’s great to eat from frozen also.


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Healthy Foods – Top 10 Superfoods on a Budget

Healthy Foods - Top 10 Superfoods on a Budget


If you have dedicated yourself to a healthy eating plan, but don’t have a great deal of cash to splash on the latest “superfood” trends, then fear not, you really do not need a lot of money to eat healthy foods. In this post I will share with you my top 10 superfoods on a budget, that are not only easily affordable, but delicious too.

In my job as a Sports Nutrition Consultant I hear quite a lot of my clients say “I just don’t have the money to eat healthily all the time”, and it’s for this reason I am going to give you examples of how some of the healthiest foods on the planet are actually some of the cheapest.

Don’t believe me… then read on.



Now I know you can buy a bag of frozen chips for a £1, but by the same token you can buy a packet of sweet potatoes for the same price and make your own much healthier and lower fat version with virtually no more effort, except maybe a bit of chopping.

So you see where I’m going here, there really are healthy substitutes for every version of junk food imaginable, and it’s much earlier to make these swaps when you know what you’re looking for.

Swapping many of your every day foods for the foods on the list below will pay dividends in terms of your health AND, will also help you to discover new foods and different ways of eating.


Looking Forward to a Disease Free Future:

Making these changes could quite literally save your life, we are all now well aware of the damage that sugar and trans fats wreak on our bodies. So start today and work towards a healthier, slimmer and more vibrant body so you can look forward to a disease free future.

For much more in depth and practical advice on clearing the rubbish out of your cupboards and changing your habits around food, I highly suggest you also read my post ‘Eating Clean in 10 Easy Steps’ as it will show you foolproof and simple ways of overcoming bad habits and how to change your diet for life.



It is worth noting that ALL of these superfoods have a much higher nutrient absorption when either cooked or eaten with a little healthy fat, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil or coconut oil.



Smashed avocado on toast

These are my absolute number one superfood, and I would encourage you to try to consume 1 small or half a large avocado a day. You can chop them and add to your meals, smash them onto toast with a squeeze of lemon, or simply add them to your smoothies.

Benefits: Avocados are high in heart friendly monounsaturated fats, full of fiber and antioxidants and contain vitamins K, E, C, B5, B6, Potassium and Folate. They are also super low GI making them fantastic for those with type 2 diabetes as they will help keep blood sugar stable.

On top of this, avocados also help to lower bad cholesterol, offer eye protection due to their high levels of antioxidants, AND help with a weight loss diet due to the fact they are full of fiber, and their low GI properties, therefore keeping you feeling fuller for longer. This keeps keep blood sugar stable, thus stopping those diet busting sugar cravings in their tracks.



2. SWEET POTATOESHigh fiber Sweet potato chips

Swap your normal frozen chips and white potatoes for sweet potatoes. You can chip them, mash them, roast them, or do pretty much anything you would normally do with your potatoes.

Benefits: Sweet potatoes are one of nature’s highest forms of beta carotene which is all down  to their bright orange colour pigment. They drastically up your blood levels of Vitamin A and antioxidants and also contain high levels of other nutrients such as Vitamin C, Manganese, Copper, and an array of B Vitamins.

They are high in fiber and low GI, meaning they are perfect for keeping blood sugar stable, which will slash your risk of type 2 diabetes and many other diseases. Low GI foods also help to keep your weight under control.



Blueberries help you lose weight


Blueberries have one of the highest levels of phytonutrients of ALL the common fruits and vegetables and can be bought cheaply when in season, and frozen at other times of the year.

Add them to breakfast cereals, smoothies, or make ice cream from them by whizzing up in a blender with chunks of frozen ripe banana and a little nut milk – also makes an absolutely delicious and healthy dessert!

Benefits: The health benefits of blueberries are simply astounding, and their high antioxidant content neutralises free radicals to help protect against cancer and all sorts of age related diseases.

They are also anti-inflammatory and help with muscle repair – plus they boost memory, lower blood pressure and heart disease risk, and like cranberries can also reduce risk of bladder infections.



Peanuts are high in protein


Peanuts are a really cheap plant based source of protein and are easy to incorporate as a snack, OR you can spread peanut butter on a slice of granary toast with a sliced banana for a wholesome, filling and inexpensive lunch.

Benefits: High in protein, antioxidants, B- vitamins, copper, potassium, manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium, peanuts certainly have a host of health benefits. These include reduced risk of stomach cancer specifically and due to their high resveratrol content have a protective effect against other cancers, heart disease, alzheimer’s, viral and fungal infections, and degenerative nerve disease.



Broccoli is one of the highest protein vegetables available and is something you would do well to eat every day. It is a versatile vegetable and can be sauteed with garlic, lightly steamed, added to stir-fry’s or chopped small and eaten raw in salads.

Benefits: High in fiber, and vitamins B6, B1, A, E, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, niacin, omega 3 fatty acids, and iron, broccoli also helps prevent and treat many types of cancer due to its strong anti carcinogenic compounds and nutrients.

It is a great detoxifyer with fantastic anti aging properties, and lowers risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, helps treat anemia due to its high levels of iron, boosts bone health, eye health, and also boosts immunity.



Beetroot is a cheap super foods

Beetroot is another cheap and versatile super food that is just choc full of nutrients. You can eat it raw, grated into salads, steamed, or roasted in olive oil and balsamic vinegar – you can also juice it with carrots and ginger for a fantastic veggie juice.

Beetroot is often used by athletes for its endurance qualities – that’s how fab it is!

Benefits: Beetroot’s bright red colour comes from its antioxidant compound betalain which is a great cancer preventative. It also offers immune support, helps reduce bad cholesterol, slows down dementia and supports the liver by helping to prevent fatty deposits forming.



Frozen green garden peas are full of protein, AND they are literally cheap as chips – if not cheaper! The great thing about frozen produce is it’s usually a lot more cost efficient than fresh, and often has more nutrients as it is almost always immediately frozen after it is picked or harvested (which is when it is at its nutritional peak).

Fruits and vegetables lose their nutrients quickly after picking so the faster they are picked and eaten or frozen, the better.

Peas can be boiled and added as a side dish with any meal, or you can jazz them up with a squeeze of lemon juice and some flaked almonds (there’s another 2 more superfoods for you right there!).

Benefits: The humble green pea boasts one of the most nutrient dense profiles so far on this list, in fact it’s simply astonishing the amount of bang you get for your buck with the pea.

Peas are a budget friendly super food

Huge Array of Nutrients

For starters green peas are rich in Vitamin K, C, E, B6, B2, beta carotene, copper, phosphorus, manganese, folate, niacin, molybdenum, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, choline, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and they also contain antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. They are low on the glycemic index scale, so great for weight management.

As well as all these above mentioned wonderful benefits, peas have recently been found to contain unique phytonutrients called saponins, which as it goes can pretty much ONLY be found in green peas. And when combined with all the other nutrients, the benefits are far more outreaching than have been previously recognised.

Peas are also of great benefit to those with obesity, diabetes, and blood sugar problems as they are yet another low GI food that will help keep your blood sugars stable.



Oh yeah I had to go there! Baked beans are a good old British staple that I’m not even sure the rest of the world knows about: but these truly are a thing of greatness aren’t they? We eat these with everything and anything in Britain, and if you’re stuck for a cheap, high protein and easy to prepare meal, then beans on granary toast have everything you could possibly want.

If you can, buy the sugar free or lower sugar versions to make sure the benefits aren’t lost in that extra 4 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR that is in just 1 can of beans.

Benefits: Not only are they full of iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, folic acid and B6, but baked beans also contain more vitamins and minerals than red meat making them a great substitute for vegetarians and vegans, or those just trying to cut their meat intake down.

Baked beans are full of antioxidants which help to fight free radicals in the body, and when eaten 4 times a week can lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease. They are also a fantastic weight loss food as they are low GI, high in protein and fiber, but low in fat.


9. BANANASbananas are a budget friendly superfood


Now these just had to go on the list as you can usually buy a bunch of bananas for under a pound and they are a filling and easy to eat on the go snack. Great just to have in your bag in case of a snack attack emergency, as they will fill a hole and stop you snacking on less desirable junk foods.

Benefits: High in fiber so great for dieters –  bananas are also great for helping alleviate depression and anxiety due to their high B Vitamin content, which just so happens is great for the central nervous system. They are also a source of potassium, iron, magnesium and manganese.

Bananas are heart friendly, help lower blood sugar (especially the unripe ones), help with anemia, are anti aging due to their high levels of antioxidants, and are super gut friendly as their pectin and resistant starch act as a prebiotic, thus soothing IBS symptoms.

For more on the great benefits of the humble banana you may enjoy my post10 Little Known Facts banana facts’.


Pulses are full of antioxidants


Just think of all the different pulses there are out there such as kidney beans, chick peas, pinto beans, cannellini beans, borlotti beans and black beans. I’m sure you can think of more, but the point is they can be used in place of meat to make so many dishes that the list is endless. I’m thinking bean chilis, hummus, bean burgers, falafel, chickpea curry…

Benefits: As well as their impressive fiber and protein profile, pulses contain high doses of zinc, iron, folate and magnesium, and their phytonutrients, tanins and saponins have antioxidant and anti cancer effects. They are also another low GI food so perfect for dieters and those with diabetes.


For more information on beginning a plant based diet, you will this plant based diet for beginners ‘How To Guide’ a source of invaluable information as you will get step by step instructions on how to ease yourself into this lifestyle, and help on starting out on your new and amazing life’s journey.


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