Desert Island Food….. What Are Your Eight?

desert island

Today I thought I would do something different from my usual recipe posts and food news. I don’t know how it popped into my head, but I was thinking about Desert Island Discs. This is a BBC4 radio program where celebrities are interviewed and asked about what they would take on a desert island with them. They are allowed to choose eight of their favourite tracks, plus one book and one luxury item. Just for fun, I thought I would do a foodie version of this game on my blog for my readers to join in. You are allowed eight food items of which you will have an endless supply on the island. My eight are as follows:

  1. Steak
  2. Lancashire crumbly cheese
  3. Garlic
  4. Cherry tomatoes
  5. Duck
  6. Chocolate
  7. Salted peanuts
  8. Granary bread

What are your eight desert island foods? Comments below!

 

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Can Following a Mediterranean Diet Reduce the Risk of Developing Dementia?

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Scientists have conducted many studies into whether there is a link between the diet you eat and the likelihood of you developing dementia. Some have even found that following specific diets may reduce the risk of suffering from this debilitating condition later in life. According to the Alzheimer’s society, the best diet to follow if you want to reduce the risk of suffering from dementia is a Mediterranean diet and evidence also shows that this diet also helps with reducing the risk of developing memory and thinking problems.

What is a Mediterranean Diet?

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Mediterranean diet is now a term used to describe a diet that is influenced by the ingredients traditionally used in the region surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It is typically high in fruits and vegetables. Other food groups that are largely used in this type of diet are cereals and legumes. The diet includes a moderate consumption of dairy and oily fish, while it is low in meat content. Other foods that are rarely used are those that are high in sugar and saturated fat.

Studies into Mediterranean Diet and Dementia

There have been many studies into the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. One of the earlier studies was conducted in the 1960s and this showed that there were lower rates of heart attacks amongst men living in Mediterranean regions. Further studies have also shown links between following this diet and reduced rates of type 2 diabetes. In terms of dementia, studies began into links between this diet and a decreased risk of dementia when scientists learned that those who followed this diet experienced fewer problems with memory and thinking. Recently, more research was conducted to pull all the previous findings together to learn more about the potential link between following a Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of dementia development.

How Does a Mediterranean Diet Reduce the Risk of Dementia?

One reason it is believed that this diet can impact on the chances of developing dementia is that many of the foods eaten are high in antioxidants. These can help to protect brain cells against the damage caused by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. The diet can also reduce the signs of inflammation and lower cholesterol levels. Both factors are proven to have an impact on memory and thinking. It is important to note that there have been some inconsistencies amongst the studies and it is possible that the reason people eating a Mediterranean diet have lower rates of dementia is simply as a result of this group of people living a generally healthier life.

Is Diet the Only Factor?

Of course, eating a Mediterranean diet alone will not reduce the risk of developing dementia as there are many other factors that are believed to contribute to the development of this condition. Some people are genetically predisposed to develop dementia and there is some evidence to suggest that you are more likely to develop dementia if someone else in your family has suffered from this condition. Lifestyle factors also play a part, so reducing alcohol intake, not smoking, and exercising regularly are all important steps to take to reduce the risk of developing dementia in the future.

To learn more about working with people with dementia, visit  https://www.createcare.co.uk/ and check out the range of courses available.

Source: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20010/risk_factors_and_prevention/149/mediterranean_diet

I’m In It for the Long Haul

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Although I have been working as a freelance writer for seven years now, this blog is a relatively new venture. In fact, as I am writing this, it is just eight weeks old. I started off with big ambitions, but I have found it more challenging than I thought and I have not produced anywhere enough content. 

However, this hasn’t deterred me from keeping going. This week, I have had so much paid work that I had planned not to write anything on my food blog at all. I was going to concentrate solely on my paid work and sorting out the house. I don’t know how, but at the end of each working day, I have found myself taking my laptop to bed with me as I couldn’t resist the urge to sit and post something on The Fruity Tart

I have decided that there is something very addictive about blogging. I love checking my views, my likes and who is now following my blog. However, this isn’t the only addictive part of having a blog. I have also become addicted to checking out the reader section of WordPress to see what other people have posted. I am now following a wide range of blogs, so my reading material is diverse. While some are fellow food bloggers, I am also enjoying reading poetry, historical and factual information, personal experiences and blogs about all sorts of niche subjects. 

Regardless of how successful my own blog is, blogging is so addictive that I am definitely in this for the long haul. 

Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Haul’ on The Daily Post

The Unusual Diet of The Inuit People Living in the Frigid Zone

Inuit

The Frigid Zone is the area including and surrounding the Arctic, that encompasses Alaska, Greenland and the most northern parts of Canada. This part of the world has a very low population and is only inhabited by the Inuit people. Due to the cold climate and the sparse environment, the Inuit have a very unusual diet.

Traditionally, the Inuit are hunters and fishers who eat only what they can catch themselves. They have no access to grocery stores and eat only what is naturally available. This results in a somewhat limited diet of seal, whale, reindeer, birds, and seafood. Their diet is almost carbohydrate-free and fruit and vegetables are generally limited to seaweed, tubers, and berries that are gathered during the season and then preserved. 

With all the hype about eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, this lack of carbohydrates and fresh fruit and vegetables may seem concerning. It makes sense to believe that a diet that is so protein-rich would potentially cause health problems.

However, studies have shown that this is not the case. Despite what most would consider a very poor diet, the Inuit enjoy extremely good health and research shows that they are accessing all the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain good health. 

Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Frigid’ on The Daily Post.

WATCH: The Amazing School Meals in Japan

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When I was at school (some time ago now) the school dinners were dreadful. We were served tasteless slop and there are many foods that I still will not eat based on my experiences at school; custard is one of them. I just came across this amazing video on a social media site that shows how Japanese school dinners are served and wanted to share it straight away. I truly believe that schools from across the globe should follow the lead of the Japanese based on this video content. 

First, the children plan their school meals and then study the nutritional value of the meals and the cultural significance of the dishes. Next, they take turns to serve the meals to their peers. Many of the meals are made from produce grown on the school farm. Therefore, the meals are made from fresh seasonal produce, are healthy and delicious. The video shows some of the meals they eat and also mentions that the Japanese have one of the lowest childhood obesity rates in the world and that their school meals are one of the reasons for this.

At the end of meal time, the children thank their servers and clean the dining hall. They consider their dinnertime to be part of their education rather than a break from their education. They are taught to have respect, manners, and pride in their school. I was particularly interested in this as I worked for many years in the Learning Support Faculty of a secondary school. I volunteered to do dinner duties. This involved supervising the dining hall. From my own experiences in the UK, the school children did not show the same level of pride in their school and were generally unwilling to tidy away after themselves.

Take a look at the video below and feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

7 Foods to Include in Your Diet for Radiant Skin

Anyone who is interested in health and beauty will know the importance of taking good care of their skin. There are plenty of products available on the market, each of which has a different role to play in good skin health. However, diet can play just as an important role in the health and appearance of your skin. A healthy balanced diet can have a significant impact on the health of your skin and whether or not it looks radiant. It is vital to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need in your diet to maintain good skin health. If you want to make your skin healthier and appear more radiant, you should try including the following seven foods in your diet.

Leafy Greens

spinach

Foods such as spinach and Brussel sprouts are high in alpha lipoic acid. This helps to protect against premature aging and keeps the skin tight and wrinkle-free.

Oily Fish

sardines

Examples of oily fish include anchovies, sardines, and salmon. This fish contains dimethylaminoethanol which protects the skin, reduces the risk of premature aging, and strengthens cell membranes.

Eggs

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Eggs contain choline and lutein. These are both important nutrients in terms of skin health. Choline plays a role in keeping skin smooth and also regulates vitamin B levels. Vitamin is needed to keep skin smooth and firm. Lutein is an antioxidant that prevents skin damage and protects skin elasticity.

Blueberries

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Blueberries are full of antioxidants that will protect you against many diseases. An additional bonus is that the antioxidants will also make your skin more radiant.

Red Grapefruit

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Eating just one red grapefruit a day will give you your daily recommended dose of vitamin C, which is essential for good skin health.

Walnuts

walnuts

Your body needs omega-3 fatty acids but can’t produce it itself. Walnuts are a great source of these and it will keep your skin cell membranes strong and help them to retain moisture.

Tomatoes

tomatoes

Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. It can help to protect skin from the damage of UV rays and the effects of premature aging.

Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Radiant’ on The Daily Post.

You Know You’re a Foodie When…….

foodie frog

You know you’re a foodie when…….. your presents are food and cooking related! Its Easter Sunday today and I got some rather unusual gifts from my Mum. My children got the traditional Easter eggs from her, a book and a T-shirt each. She gave my partner an Easter egg and a small bottle of lemon vodka (she has been experimenting with making different flavours of vodka recently). What did I get? A bag of organic pasta flour and a set of three chutneys- mango & pineapple, chilli jam, and jalapeno pepper chutney. 

This is not the first time my Mum has bought me cooking presents. She knows I am not that interested in clothes and my house is full of enough clutter. Cooking related items are the perfect gift for me. At Christmas, I received a new pasta maker and a wooden spaghetti hanging rack.

On my 30th birthday, she made one of my best presents ever. It was a hamper full of Indian spices, The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook, and some tableware for serving Indian food. These may seem like strange gifts to other people, but to me, they are perfect.