Apple Cider Vinegar – Does It Live Up To The Hype?

Everywhere we look now it seems that apple cider vinegar is the modern cure for all ailments! You’d nearly believe at this stage that if could sprinkle some on your exam paper you’d come out with 100%- it’s apparently that amazing! Really though, did we all just jump on a band wagon full of apple cider vinegar? How many of these so-called health benefits are true?!

Blood glucose levels: research has shown that ACV can reduce blood glucose initially after you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal BUT it doesn’t stop glucose being absorbed.. it just delays it. Therefore, it may be beneficial for people suffering from diabetes but an overall healthy balanced diet and exercise should do the job!

Weight loss: Everyone is looking for a miracle weight loss cure. Well, I’m afraid that there is little research on the benefits of ACV for promotion of weight loss. Some studies suggest it may promote satiety and led participants to consuming approx 200kcal less during the day. But, this may be just due to a delay in gastric emptying or by the nausea experienced by some people who consume ACV. Hmmm.. ok.

Teeth whitening: It’s a form of acid people?! Research does not support people using it as a teeth whitener and frankly, neither do I. It can cause damage to enamel and overall dental health if used in excess. Just brush twice daily and reduced the amount of sugar you consume and your teeth will benefit friends.

Cardiovascular disease: Many studies which look at the effect of vinegar consumption on cardiovascular disease have been carried out on rats and some show reduced blood pressure, triglycerides and total cholesterol but there is a lack of evidence in relation to humans so proceed with caution on this one.

Digestion: ACV may help to break down food as it is added to the stomach acid. However, it can be harmful to people who suffer with digestive or stomach problems (particularly stomach ulcers).

We must remember that apple cider vinegar is highly acidic so if you are going to use it then ask your GP just to rule out any health issues which may be underlying and try to dilute it down with water. Many of the studies in relation to ACV have been carried out in small sample sizes with varying results. More controlled studies with larger sample sizes are needed before we clear the shelves of ACV. Read the label and find out the facts before use.

Fabulous Fish- Why you should be eating more of it!

Fish is oh so healthy, not to mention DELICIOUS! It’s super versatile and so easy to cook. Fish is an extremely healthy food, particularly oily fish and can be paired with such a huge range of foods to create a beautifully balanced meal. Here’s just some of the health benefits associated with eating some fish.

Fish is a great source of protein. Protein is needed in the body for growth and repair of body cells. White fish also contains little or no fat, so combine this with the protein content and it’s an excellent choice for people who are on a weight – reduction programme. On top of this protein is satiating which means it can help us feel fuller for longer. 

Fish is also a great source of many vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, vitamin D, iodine, potassium, calcium and selenium. Maintaining a wide variety of all of these nutrients ensure we have adequate energy, repair and growth of body cells and creation of hormones for all bodily functions. 

Oily fish contains omega 3 fatty acids which are necessary for brain health and play a role in prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Consumption of omega fatty acids has also been associated with a reduction in triglycerides which can in turn, reduce cardiovascular risk.

Increased consumption of fish has been associated with many health benefits such as a reduction in overweight and obesity, better bone health and can aid in cognitive development.

Fish can be baked, grilled, pan-fried, poached.. the list goes on! It only takes a short time to cook and can be incorporated into dishes for all of the family. Products such as tinned fish and smoked fish make it easy and quick to consume fish on the go and for children.

Check out our recipe page for inspiration!

Should you eat before a workout?

Achieving your fitness goals can be hard and sometimes even knowing if you should eat or WHAT to eat before a workout can be difficult! No one wants a stitch half way through a run but we don’t want to be starving either. Let’s chat a little bit about what to snack on before a workout.

Not eating something before a workout isn’t something I recommend however it may just suit some people particularly if they are early risers and get that gym session in at 6am!  For others it can leave them feeling dizzy, nauseated and tired. It can also affect our performance as our muscles need that energy to work to their best ability.

Carbohydrates provide energy in our bodies and our muscles store carbohydrate in the form of glycogen for times when we need it. Eating carbohydrates before training can allow us to use this energy in the form of glucose to fuel our workout. It also saves the glycogen stored in our muscles for other times we may need it. It’s a good idea to eat a bit of protein before training too as it allows repair and building of muscle cells which are damaged when we workout.

Make sure to drink water!! Water is essential for any type of training. Sip on it before and during your workout for optimal performance.

Examples of carb and protein snacks to have before a workout:

  • some fruit and unsalted mixed nuts or seeds
  • a slice of wholegrain toast and peanut butter
  • low-sugar oatmeal bar/granola bar
  • dried fruit and Greek yoghurt
  • chicken/turkey/pitta on wholegrain crackers
  • scrambled/boiled eggs on wholegrain toast
  • milk
  • apple/pear and nut butter

Ideally we should be eating a pre-workout snack about an hour before a workout but this may not work for some people and that is FINE! Find what works for YOU and GET MOVING!

Don’t forget our Good4U snacks are great sources of pre-workout carbohydrates and have that extra protein boost to keep us going! Grab a snack NOW! 

5 things you didn’t know about one of the healthiest foods on the planet

Good4U Superfood Burger

Sprouted seeds! They are one of the one of the healthiest foods on the planet – seriously, Google it.

 

Here are the 5 top reasons that Good4U Sprouted Seeds (aka Salad Toppers) are simply, naturally amazing! 

1.They are backed to the brim with nutrients such as protein, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, magnesium, folate, powerful antioxidants and enzymes (to name a few!). However, what is really special is that these nutrients are often elevated in sprouted seeds compared with unsprouted foods.

2.Our Super Sprouts have cancer-fighting properties! Yep – that’s right. We have evidence which was carried out by a professor in Ulster University which shows that regularly eating our Super Sprout Salad Toppers can protect against DNA damage and associated cancer risk! STOCK UP QUICK!!

3.Sprouts are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Combine with another plant-protein source like grains and you have a meal which contains all of the necessary amino acids. Plus, they are seriously tasty, affordable AND sustainable!

4.They are a living food which have undergone extremely minimal processing and retain so much value in terms of nutrition so we receive all of these beneficial nutrients in an easily digestible form. 

5.Our sprouts are extremely versatile and ready-to-eat! Try them in a salad, stir-fry, soup, on crackers with hummus or cheese, in a sandwich, wrap or simply on their own!

Let us know how you like to eat your sprouts and check out our recipe page for inspiration! #Don’tForgetTheTopper

Good4U Super Slaw

Understanding Coeliac Disease

If a product is marketing itself as ‘gluten free’ it has been produced to suit people who suffer from coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune disease which is estimated to affect 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 people in various parts of the world. It is not a food allergy or intolerance. If a person with coeliac disease consumes gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, their small intestine becomes inflamed and damaged and is unable to absorb other nutrients from food.  This can cause a person to develop other health issues, such as osteoporosis and poor immunity if undiagnosed. 

Gluten can be found in foods and drinks such as bread, cakes, pizza and beer and in processed foods like gravy, soups and sauces, chocolate and sweets. So yeah, all the stuff that tastes great! Symptoms include bloating, flatulence, IBS, chronic fatigue and diarrhoea. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms and if you are concerned you should consult your GP and/or a registered Dietitian.

Non coeliac gluten sensitivity (that’s a bit of mouthful) may also occur in some individuals who experience some of the symptoms described above when gluten is consumed but the difference here is that no damage to the lining of the gut occurs.

Some people choose gluten free options when shopping or eating out as they believe it is a healthier option as opposed to regular bread, wraps, cakes etc. If a person is not suffering from coeliac disease or non coeliac gluten sensitivity there is no evidence to suggest that this is a healthier food choice.

If you do suffer from coeliac disease or non coeliac gluten sensitivity check out our wide range of Good4U snacks which are all natural and all gluten free.  Not to mention unbelievably tasty! 

 

 

Top Tips For Workplace Wellness

Energy Balls Work

Why encourage workplace wellness?

 

It might sound too good to be true, but embracing wellbeing initiatives makes for a happier and healthier work life! It will create balance and encouraging people to get up from their desks once in a while helps them to come back refreshed and ready to focus on work.

 

Easy ways to encourage workplace wellness: 

 

Exercise : Research has shown that devoting work time to exercise can lead to higher productivity. 

 

Walk or bike to work – If you live nearby why not leave the car at home a few mornings each week. If your commute is too long try parking around a mile from the office and walking a little each day.

 

Yoga classes – Yoga works wonders for your mind and your body! Give it a try and see if you can get fitter and reduce your stress levels.

 

Walking meetings – Head outside or walk around the building. Doing work while outside can be a very enjoyable experience and can increase creativity.

 

Discounts for the local gym – this is great for employees who might not usually consider the gym. If the discount is for a specific local gym it also encourages people to socialise outside of work, while working out.

 

Healthy Snacks- ditch the biscuits with your morning coffee and take it in turns with your co workers to provide healthy snacks. Nutrition plays a huge role in wellness, having something healthy to eat will help you to say no to snacks with high added sugar or fat content.

 

Photo of Women Walking Down the Street

6 super easy ways to make your salads nutritious, tasty and insta-worthy!

1. Add fibre! Fibre is so important for our overall health, particularly for digestion and satiety. Satiety relates to how full we feel. Add plenty of veggies, pulses and grains to your salad or even try some yummy fruits like strawberries, pear, apple or pomegranate to boost the fibre content.

2. Add a variety of protein. If you are vegan or vegetarian choose a variety of plant-based protein sources like beans, pulses, nuts, seeds or Good4U salad toppers! If you are a meat-eater pick some leaner cuts of meat, chicken or fish plus some delicious plant-based protein options for a serious protein punch! Protein is needed for growth and repair of muscle cells but is also essential for a wide range of other bodily functions AND keeps us fuller for longer.

3. Add colour! ‘Eat the rainbow’ is a commonly used term however it makes complete sense! Eating a wide variety of different coloured foods provides us with a wide variety of different nutrients. So pick out your favourite coloured fruit and veg and top with our amazing Salad Toppers for a salad that will be bursting with nutrients! Taste the sunshine!

4. Add texture! There is nothing worse than eating something with the same texture for the entire meal! Adding texture to meals makes the entire meal experience much more enjoyable. And why wouldn’t you like to enjoy your food?! Try adding crunch to your salad with our delicious Lentil Sprouts Salad Topper or our amazingly nutritious seed Salad Toppers plus plenty of the fruit and veg we mentioned above and you’re on your way to a simply mouth-watering bowl of salad!

5. Make sure it tastes good! Sounds obviously but let’s be honest – how many of us has made a boring ‘ole salad and miserable nibbled away at it even though it tasted BLAND? Newsflash.. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!! By making your salad colourful, crunchy and adding some spices or seasonings (like in our Salad Toppers!) your salad will taste incredible. Don’t be afraid of salad dressings either as they can add amazing flavour to salads. Aim to choose lower fat options where possible or better yet – make your own! They’re extremely easy to make and you can choose they flavours you enjoy.

6. Check out our recipe page for salad inspo and DON’T FORGET THE TOPPER!

Don’t forget to tag us in your salad photos 🙂

 

Person Holding Iphone 6

Good4U’s Top 5 Tips for Sleep

Sleep

Tired from a long hard busy day at work and just want to catch some ZZZ? We all know the feeling of just wanting to hit the pillow and fade away to dreamland. But nope. That does not always happen but here are a few ways to make falling asleep faster a more regular occurrence. This won’t just make you healthier and happier it will prevent you from Obesity and other diseases.

 

Reach for tryptophan-rich foods: We’ve all heard of warm milk’s magical ability to send us off to dreamland. Do you know why it’s true? Dairy foods contain tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting substance. Other tryptophan-containing foods include poultry, bananas, oats and red meat. So, grab a bowl of porridge in the evening, cuddle up and relax and you will not have to start counting the sheep tonight!

 

Indulge your craving for carbs: Carbohydrate-rich foods complement dairy foods by increasing the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan in the blood. A few perfect late-night snacks to get you snoozing might include a bowl of cereal and milk, yoghurt and crackers, or bread and cheese. But keep the snack small and preferable not too close to bedtime.

 
 
 

Caffeine: can be a huge cause of insomnia or disrupted sleep. It’s no surprise that an evening cup of coffee might disrupt your sleep. Even moderate caffeine can cause sleep disturbances. But don’t forget about less obvious caffeine sources, like chocolate, cola, tea and decaffeinated coffee as well as a variety of medications (pain killers, weight loss pills, cough and cold medicines e.g. paracetamol can contain up to 100-130mg of caffeine). For better sleep, cut down your caffeine consumption and avoid caffeine in the hours before going to bed. But don’t skip out on your medications – talk to your doctor first. If you still want that warming comforting hot drink before bed try chamomile to get set for a good night sleep or a cup of hot milk.

 
 
 

Skip the nightcap: Here’s the catch-22 with alcohol: it may help you fall asleep faster, but you may wake up in the night more frequently in a less deep sleep, a less restful sleep, and you may be more likely to have headaches, night sweats and nightmares. And honestly who wants that? If you’re consuming alcohol in the evening, balance each drink with a glass of water to dilute the alcohol’s effects and limit consumption to the recommended amounts.

 

Beware of a heavy meal: Lying down with a full tummy can make you uncomfortable, since the digestive system slows down when you sleep. Spicy cuisine, especially, can lead to heartburn making it harder to fall asleep due to the discomfort. Make sure you finish a heavy meal at least four hours before bedtime. Any other food you consume after that and before bed should be a small snack like the examples above.

8 health and wellness trends to watch out for this year

gym gear

gym gear

Sleep. There has been a growing trend towards maintaining a healthy sleep routine. Sleep has a high impact on our physical and mental health and more and more people are striving to ensure they good adequate and good quality sleep. Watch out a rise in digital apps to help track and aid sleep, supplements to help us achieve them zzz’s and foods and drinks claiming to help us sleep better. Always check if a supplement/food or drink has proven benefits and is approved by a regulatory body for health claims such as EFSA.

Plant-based isn’t going anywhere. There has been a significant rise in the number of people eating a more ‘plant-based’ diet or becoming a vegetarian or vegan. This may be due to personal choice, ethical reasons, environmental reasons or otherwise. Nevertheless ‘plant-based’ diets, foods and lifestyles are growing FAST! Watch out for a whole new range of innovative products in this area in 2019.

Home workouts. Forget the cringey home workout DVDS – being physically active in your living room is about to get a whole lot easier. In 2018 the smart Mirror was introduced which streams workouts into your living room or bedroom! Wearable technology is evolving also which means that we have a range of activities possible anywhere, at any time! Who knows what 2019 will bring.

Rest. ‘No pain, no gain’ has been a popular saying in the last few years however now we will see people prioritising rest and recovery. This goes for people who are physically active but also those who just need to slow down, destress and rejuvenate themselves. This ties into improving sleep but includes making time for breathing and calming exercises. Mindfulness and mental health are sure to rise in 2019.

Unplugging from social media. There are many apps which now tell you how much time you spend on your phone and on each application. We will see people being more mindful of the amount of time they spend on social media and unplugging from the digital world. As a society we are obsessed with social media, likes and validation for others which can have a detrimental impact on our health – both physically and mentally.

Edible insects. Fancy some crickets as a snack? Edible insects as a snack are growing whether they make us squirm or not! Many insects are a good source of lots of nutrients including protein and their production has been shown to be environmentally friendly compared to meat production. This year expect to see snack products in particular incorporating more insects. Don’t knock ‘em ‘til you try ‘em!

Sea snacks. In the past few years there has been a high rise in the number of products containing seaweed and sea life. In the coming months we can be sure that we will see more and more snacks make from seaweed, fish and other sea creatures. Seaweed in particular has been hailed for it’s nutrient content and can be an extremely food to incorporate into the diet. Here at Good4U HQ we use a red algae seaweed in some of our kids products which gives our Nutri Balls a calcium hit!

Middle Eastern & North African flavours. I hope you like cardamom, chili, coriander, cinnamon and paprika because these flavours are predicted to feature heavily in various dishes this year. Spices and herbs are a great way to add a burst of flavour to dishes. Check out some of our Good4U recipes for inspiration!

Comfort food recipes to get you through the cold spell!

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be getting any warmer, and as the temperature drops we become tempted to fill our bellies with creamy soups, rich pasta dishes and cheesy breads.

Instead of over indulging, why not satisfy your comfort food cravings with healthy foods. Foods loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help your body boost its way through the chilly winter months. Read on to discover some of our go to favourite winter warmers foods, their nutritional benefits and some soul warming recipes.

Oats

You just can’t beat a bowl of piping hot porridge on a winter’s morning!

Oats are packed with nutritional benefits. They are rich in fibre which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer and helps promote a healthy digestive system. Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fibre well known for supporting heart health, lowering cholesterol and also boosting immune systems which is essential this time of the year!

You can also enhance the nutritional value of your porridge bowl with the toppings you add! Why not add a sprinkle of Good4U Apple and Cinnamon Super Seeds to boost your magnesium intake to help reduce tiredness and fatigue. Try our recipe here.

Roasted Vegetables

Bursting with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, make sure to stock stock up on your green veggies this winter! Broccoli is packed with Vitamin C, an essential Vitamin for supporting your immune system while also promoting healthy skin. A serving of broccoli actually has more Vitamin C than a medium orange.

Vitamin K is known to play a role in maintaining the skeleton. A deficiency in Vitamin K has been linked with a high risk of bone fractures, making it one to consider this time of year with the icy weather! Try our yummy Good4U Roast Veggie Salad

Sweet Potato

Not only a delicious and versatile vegetable, it also has an abundance of nutritional benefits. Sweet potatoes provide a slow release of energy, helping ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes linked to tiredness and fatigue. Sweet Potatoes are rich in Beta-Carotene which supports the normal function of our immune system while also supporting our eye health. They also contain Vitamin D, needed for maintaining bone and teeth health. Vitamin D is essential during the winter months due to our limited sunshine.

Chocolate

Nothing satisfies a comfort food craving like a bit of chocolate and our delicious Good4U Chocolate Orange Bark is the perfect sweet treat!

Get the recipe here 🙂

Chocolate Orange Bark with Good4U Orange Protein Balls