Feeding your skin, hair and nails

Let’s face it (excuse the pun!) we all would love flawless skin and hair and beautiful natural nails but we can’t have it all!

People spend a lot of cash dollar bills on lotions and potions to improve their beauty but do we address one of the most fundamental aspects of beauty? Our diets? The power of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can give your hair and skin a more radiant, healthy and youthful glow. Let’s discuss what kind of vitamins and minerals we can include in our diets to boost beauty from within.

 

Key nutrients for skin

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps to create collagen in skin. Aim to consume plenty of fruit and vegetables to top up on this super skin vitamin.

Selenium helps in keeping skin firm and protects collagen. It can be found in foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and can help fight against skin ageing and wrinkles. Include almonds, sunflower seeds and spinach in your diet to ensure you get adequate amounts of vitamin E.

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, nuts and seeds and these are necessary for skin repair and flexibility.

Vitamin A helps to repair skin and prevent skin dryness and can be found in oily fish, cheese, butter, egg, peppers and carrots.

Zinc in beans, nuts, wholegrains and spinach protects the skin from UV rays.

Of course, one of the key things we can do is protect ourselves from the sun by seeking shade where possible, covering our skin and wearing sunscreen.

 

Key nutrients for hair

Iron and zinc help hair to grow. We have already spoken about zinc but iron is present mainly in red meat and spinach (zinc as above).

Protein is needed for growth and repair of hair cells and for strength. Top up on meat, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts and seeds to get your fill.

Eat oily fish and top up on omega 3 fatty acids help to hydrate hair.

Biotin is a B vitamin which helps hair to grow. Root veg, liver, meat, egg yolk, wholegrains and nuts are all good sources of biotin.

 

Key nutrients for nails:

Save your pennies and do a DIY natural nail manicure.. from within! Eating the correct nutrients will ensure your nails stay strong, shiny and absolutely fabulous!

Calcium and Vitamin A play a role in preventing nails becoming dry, brittle and weak. Stock up on dairy foods and green leafy veg for your calcium and incorporate some of the foods mention above to get enough Vitamin A.

Other important nutrients for nail health include iron and zinc to prevent those white spots that often appear on nails, protein to keep nails strong, biotin for strength and folic acid to prevent reddish-brown spots on nails.

This may seem like a long list of nutrients and you might think you’ll never possibly eat of them but do not fear – a well balanced diet will ensure you get these nutrients!

Top 6 Brain Boosting Foods for Exam Season

We all use up a lot of energy and we know that fuelling their bodies is so important to keep them healthy and going all day. Fuelling our minds is just as important particularly when studying or doing exams. The brain uses glucose as an energy source so the correct foods as part of a healthy, balanced diet will make sure we stay focussed throughout the entire day. Here are some foods to include at meal times which I like to call brain superheroes!

1. Wholegrains– these are a low glycaemic index food which means that when they are eaten they release glucose slowly throughout the body. This is good for our brains as it means we avoid a sharp burst of energy and focus and then a slump and the inability to focus. Try to choose mostly wholegrain sources of breads, cereals, rice, pasta etc for meal times to maintain levels of concentration. Perfect for keeping us going during school, study time and at home!

2. Omega 3 fatty acids– these are essential fatty acids which cannot be made in the body and must be obtained from the diet. EPA and DHA contained in oily fish are super brain boosting foods and can be used very easily by the body. Essential fatty acids can also be obtained from plant foods like flaxseeds, soya beans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. If you do not like the taste of fish and do not fancy any of the other plant foods listed consider an omega 3 supplement.

3.Green Veg: You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again: EAT YOUR GREENS! Broccoli contains vitamin K which can help to aid concentration and brain function so these little green powerhouses are brilliant for our mind.

4. Blueberries – beautiful brain boosting berries! These yummy little superstars have been shown to help delay short term memory loss. Who would have thought?! Add them to cereal, yoghurt and salads or as a tasty sweet snack in lunchboxes

5. Nuts and Seeds– these contain excellent vitamins and minerals that help boost memory and thinking function. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are especially powerful as they contain the mineral zinc which has been linked to a positive brain function

6. Avoid foods high in sugar and fat -or those which are highly processed as these will cause a sharp rise in energy levels followed by a slump. Swap the biscuits, chocolate bars and jellies for unsalted nuts and seeds, fresh and dried fruit and vegetable sticks. Of course we can all have a treat now and again, we are human after all!!

Check out our fabulous recipes page for some inspiration when planning meals for all of the family plus some quick, simple and HEALTHY lunches for school and work! Now go and ACE them exams!! 

 

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

Healthy BBQ Hacks

Wooh it’s BBQ weather! There’s nothing we love more than a good BBQ, especially in Ireland. I’m not going to rain on your shiny new patio set BUT sometimes barbecues can involve a lot of extra food which is absolutely perfectly okay every once in a while.  Continue reading “Healthy BBQ Hacks”

Understanding Health Claims

Understanding Health Benefits

Understanding Health Benefits

A health claim on a product describes a relationship between the food and health. It means that health benefits may occur when consuming the food or the nutrients within that specific food. For example, consumption of the food may contribute to boosting the body’s defence system or improve bone density. Types of health claims include ‘functional health claims’, ‘risk reduction health claims’ and ‘claims referring to children’s development’. Continue reading “Understanding Health Claims”

Skinny Fat

Skinny Fat

I think we all have that one friend who eats and eats and then eats some more and NEVER puts on weight. Pizza after pizza washed down with a litre of sugary drinks and followed by a tub of ice cream. Sound familiar? Yeah, thought so.
Continue reading “Skinny Fat”

Beauty From The Inside Out

Beauty Tips from the Inside Out

Let’s face it (excuse the pun!) we all would love flawless skin and hair and beautiful natural nails but we can’t have it all!
Continue reading “Beauty From The Inside Out”

Snacks For Pre and Post Workout

Pre and Post Workout Snacks

Nutrition is extremely important when it comes to physical activity and sometimes even knowing what to eat and when to eat 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 and after a workout.
Continue reading “Snacks For Pre and Post Workout”

The Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Health benefits of pumpkin seeds

Health benefits of pumpkin seeds

Pumpkins are just for Halloween right? Wrong! Pumpkin seeds have an array of health benefits and are the perfect snack to have on their own or add to yoghurts, salads or soups! Continue reading “The Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds”