Health Benefits of Turmeric

Why is everyone so obsessed with turmeric? People are raving about it, all the big coffee chains are adding it to their lattes and there are even cooking books dedicated to turmeric. To find out why keep reading.

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Top 10 Health Benefits of Turmeric:

  1. Anti-Inflammatory properties
  2. Pain relief – studies have shown it to work as well as ibuprofen
  3. Improve liver functions – due to its antioxidant abilities
  4. Digestion – can even be used to treat IBS
  5. Reduce the risk of cancer
  6. Natural Medicine
  7. Reduces depression
  8. Reduces period pains
  9. Reduces Acne – add to your face mask to have clear smooth and healthy skin
  10. Fights age related diseases.

Health Brands and stores are going crazy for this everyday spice. Shop shelves are over flowing with turmeric tablets, teas and snacks. Restaurants and coffee shops are adding to it everything they can from juices, coffees, shots and cakes.

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Thinking you might find it hard to add this magical ingredient into your daily routine? Here is an easy way to kill your evening snacking and add this magic spice to your daily diet:

Recipe

Turmeric Latte

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serving size: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 Teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 Teaspoons of agave syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon of nut butter
  • 1 Cup full of soya milk
  • Cinnamon to sprinkle

Instructions

Add all ingredients into a pan apart from the cinnamon and soya milk. Put on a low heat and mix until runny. Add in the soya milk and stir until boiling. Pour into a mug and add cinnamon. Serve straight away.

Best enjoyed as a late evening treat. If you feel something sweet or craving one more snack before bed try this. Not only is it filling but it’s healthy as well.

Here is the finished product:

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BEWARE: Turmeric stains very badly so try not to spill it, especially on anything white. Also clean your teeth straight after consuming to avoid a yellow smile.

Enjoy 🙂

Instagram – @Kezkiakco

 

xxx

 

Meditation

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Meditation helps you to progress in having a healthy mind. People always focus on a healthy body but we often neglect our minds and this is without question the most important part of us to care for. How can we be healthy if our mind is not? How can we be successful and happy with a mistreated mind? Meditation encourages our minds to slow down to benefit the body and soul. Meditation is the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts, just as you would retrain your body to look a certain way or to perform a certain activity.

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Many people practice meditation in order to increase awareness of yourself and surroundings and one of the most popular reasons is to reduce stress. We live such busy and stressful lives sometimes we forget to stop and take a moment of peace. Rather than being tangled up in the speed of life and all the negatives that come with it, take some time for yourself. Work on generating a positive mood and outlook, increase your self-discipline, become healthier, improve your sleep pattern and increase your pain tolerance.

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Meditation is very popular and many celebrities regularly practise. Big fans are:

  • Madonna
  • Katy Perry
  • Russell Brand
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Paul McCartney
  • Nicole Kidman

The list above shows a few big stars who regularly practice meditation and regularly promote the benefits.

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My first experience of meditation – Gong Meditation:

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You can wear whatever you feel comfortable in. I wore jeans and a top but most people wore sweatpants. To be honest I think next time I would choose something a bit more comfortable and you are supposed to feel relaxed. I suppose wear whatever you put on when you get home from work and want to chill out.

On arrival, you remove your shoes and enter the studio. The instructor had laid out all the pads, pillows and eye masks out and you were able to help yourself to blankets. As I had never been before I did not bring any additional blankets and pillows but you had the option to. I was surprised to see an older woman next to me had literally brought her whole bed with her – portable mattress included. Next time I may consider an additional pillow but nothing more was necessary as the mats were thick and blankets were available. I suggest checking with the class organiser to see what they provide prior to arrival.

I went to a gong meditation so this consists of someone playing a gong in the background as you meditate. It was very relaxing, you lie down, the instructor says a few words, and then you let your thoughts pass through your mind. In order to relax I started to think of positive things. It is hard, as you are not supposed to actively think but then I found myself thinking about not thinking. I guess this is something that takes time and much practise. On this occasion, I actually fell asleep and woke up 10 minutes before the class ended. I do not think you are supposed to do that and thank god, no one noticed. I was obviously able to relax due to falling asleep and after an hour, when the class came to an end I did feel very relaxed and rejuvenated.

I was quite close to the front as I got there early – I recommend doing this to receive the most benefit if you attend a gong meditation. It was very soothing listening to the sounds of the gong and the other instruments (not sure what else was there as my eyes were closed). I definitely heard a singing bowl as well. On occasion, I could hear the instructor walking around the room with the instruments, which created a nice effect. This provided the people at the back of the room a nice opportunity to hear the sounds clearer.  They could then receive the same experience as those at the front.

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I know there are many different types of meditation and I look forward to exploring them all in the future. I will share my experiences with you as and when I attend each class.

 

You can find classes local to you via meetup – https://www.meetup.com/

I went to a lovely class is Chesham local to me.

 

Now I have a couple of questions for you guys:

Can you recommend a specific type of meditation that I can explore next?

Can you recommend any meditation classes that are in the London are?

Appreciate your help 🙂

Instagram @Keziakco

xxx

What are the health benefits of hazelnuts?

Hazelnuts are high in fiber and low in salts, but please don’t go nuts with them! haha

Nutritional information per 100g:

  • Calories – 650kcal
  • Fat – 64g
  • Saturates – 4.7g
  • Carbohydrates – 6g
  • Sugars – 4g
  • Fiber – 6.5g
  • Protein – 14g
  • Salt – 0.02g
  • Vitamin E – 208% recommended daily intake
  • Pantothenic Acid – 25% recommended daily intake
  • Potassium – 37% recommended daily intake
  • Phosphorus – 43% recommended daily intake

Hazelnuts are great for weight loss, heart health, cancer protection and more. The antioxidants they contain help in the fight against cancers and the fiber assists in maintaining a healthy heart.

 

These contribute to healthy skin and hair as hazelnuts contains high amounts of vitamin E. 100g of hazelnuts (as stated above) contains 208% of our recommended amount. Vitamin E also protects the skin from damaging ultraviolet light, which protects from cancers and dark skin spots. The natural oils in hazelnuts also protect from premature aging, wrinkles and dryness of the skin. So if you’re thinking of getting that filler perhaps you just need to rethink your diet first 😉

Hazel nuts are quite unique as they contain a lot of folate. This is particularly beneficial for pregnant women as it protects against neural defects in babies and prevents anemia.

Here is a nice recipe I found to help you incorporate hazelnuts into your diet. This does contain sugar so more of a treat instead of a daily snack – enjoy 🙂

Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie with Bananas

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With the hazelnuts I purchased I decided to make a delicious desert smoothie that I sourced. Please see instructions for two servings below:

Ingredients:

  • 240ml milk (dairy, almond, cashew, soy, coconut) the choice is yours
  • 128g ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 64g hazelnuts (plain)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon hazelnut extract

Add everything to the blender and blend. Add more liquid if too thick.

I found this recipe from Jessica Gavins website I just decided to use plain hazelnuts instead of roasted and cacao powder instead of unsweetened coco powder.

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The benefits of these small marble sized nuts is endless. I was only able to list a few so it would be great to hear of any others.

Do you  know of any other health benefits or facts around hazelnuts?

Instagram – @keziakco

xxx

For more information on nuts please check out my previous post  – Are nuts good for you?

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Are nuts good for you?

The words on many peoples lips are, are nuts good for you? The simple answer is yes  but we will go into this in a lot more detail.

There is a lot to go into within this topic. Rather than writing a very long detailed post, I thought it would be easier, and more user friendly if I did a nuts series.

Across the series I will be  focusing my attention on the following nut:

  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Peanuts

First of all, nuts are very expensive. Six packets of nuts at Holland and Barret cost me over £22 and please believe that is using buy one get one half price. I know I probably should of gone to Aldi/ Lidl but I simply didn’t have the time.

In articles regarding weight loss, weight control and diet you often find they recommend consuming no more than a handful of nuts. I’m going to show you what that actually looks like, and how many calories you consume in doing so:

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As you can see a small handful of nuts contains a lot of calories but these are good calories. Actually eating nuts of a daily basis helps you live a healthier life. They contain compounds that work to lower cholesterol, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 and various antioxidants.

As nuts are so calorific and contain a lot of protein and fat, they make you feel fuller for longer. They raise blood sugar so that you don’t get those sugar cravings and this ultimately helps you to loose weight.

Now the next question you probably have is, can eating too many nuts make you fat? As they are very high in calories many people would automatically jump to this conclusion and leave them out. Obviously, maintaining a healthy weight or indeed loosing weight involves consuming a specific calorie amount on a daily basis. Should you exceed this you will of course put on weight. Every time you eat excess of 3,500 calories this translates as 1 pound of fat on your body. Anyway, despite these calorie related concerns I can confirm that studies have shown that people who eat nuts regularly usually have a lower BMI than those that don’t.

A bit of science make simple for you; nuts contain a lot of calories however when we eat them our bodies cannot break down all the material. This means even though we eat the whole portion of nuts we cannot break out all the energy from them and so do not actually consume the full amount of calories. This is quite different to processed food as this is fully digestible and we absorb all the calories. So the next time someone says that they are eating a ‘be good to yourself’ diet bar for 100 calories instead of a 100 calorie portion of healthy almonds as ‘its the same thing’, they are completely wrong!

It is advisable to actually substitute the bulk of your carbohydrate intake with nuts but portion control is key. The worst offenders are macadamia nuts at 240 calories per 32g.

Nuts are an easy snack to consume, they do not require any preparation and can be eaten out and about. They are easily obtainable on the go and can be added to almost any dish, savory or sweet. They are a great alternative to grabbing a chocolate bar when on the go, so there are no excuses!

This post describes the benefits of nuts but check out the posts to follow that will show you which nuts are best for you and what are the healthiest nuts to eat on a daily basis.

Instagram @Keziakco

xxx

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Chia Bites

Just a quick one this week 🙂

From my previous blog post on snacks I mentioned that I normally have banana slice to fulfill my sugar craving. I was getting a bit bored of it so found this recipe for chia bites. They are so tasty – enjoy 😉

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Chia seeds are very low in calories but hold a huge amount of nutrients within them. They come from South America and actually the word ‘chia’ means strength, so perfect for a strong body.

1 ounce or 28g of these tiny seeds contains the following nutrition:

  • 11g Fiber
  • 4g Protein
  • 9g Fat
  • 18% RDA Calcium
  • 30% RDA Manganese
  • 27% RDA Phosphorus
  • 137 calories in total

Almost all the carbohydrates in the chia seeds are fiber and due to their high protein content are perfect for weight loss. They also have the ability to make you feel fuller for longer. This is due to the fiber that swells in your belly giving you this full feeling.

In my opinion chia seeds don’t actually taste of anything so therefore they are very easy to incorporate into your diet. You can add them into baking, soups, salads smoothies, you name it!

These tiny seeds contain loads of antioxidants that maximize health and are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.

A lot of goodness for a tiny seed!

Chia Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup or 340g of oats
  • 1/4 cup or 85g of cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup or 170g chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup or 85g coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup or 170g almond butter

Method:

  1.  Mix oats, cacao powder, chia seeds, coconut flakes, honey, vanilla essence and cinnamon in a bowl
  2. Heat the almond butter until soft and add to the mixture
  3. Roll the mixture into balls (add more honey if not sticking)
  4. Place on a tray with grease proof paper and put in the fridge for 10 minutes
  5. Store in the fridge in an airtight container

Final Result:

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Instagram @keziakco

xxx

 

The benefits of boxing

After hearing that the Victoria’s Secret Models go boxing to keep fit that was enough inspiration for me to find out more.

Top celebrities including Khloe Kardashian, Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls and Adriana Lima are regular boxers. This keeps them in great condition and gives them confidence within self defense.

The top benefits of boxing are:

  • Burning as much as 500 calories within one session
  • Muscle toning
  • Increase bone strength
  • Increase cardiovascular fitness
  • Improve muscle endurance
  • Improve core stability
  • Improve strength
  • Great stress relief
  • Full body workout

It is often thought of as an activity exclusively for men but it benefits women just as much and is increasingly becoming more popular among females.

Women often have difficulty in getting rid of that last bit of belly fat. Many women spend ages in the gym trying to get that flat stomach but struggle endlessly. Boxing help this immensely and allows you to ditch those sit ups. You burn a lot more calories in the belly area during a boxing session than with an isolated abs workout.

For my first ever boxing session I went to KOBOX City where fight club meets night club. This is slightly different from the usual boxing class as it is held in the darkened room with flashing lights and loud music (just like a club). It also doesn’t involve any actual boxing between two people, its just you and the punch bag. This is far more up my street as I actually having to fight with someone would have put me off and to be honest I don’t find it very lady like.

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We booked before online, you must sign up and make an account we booked the two classes for £25. It was a very quick and simple sign up process. On arrival we signed in and were asked if we would like to purchase a protein shake for the end of the class. I chose a coconut bounty one costing £5. The receptionist takes your order so that it is ready and prepared by the time your class ends so you don’t have to wait around. I found this very thoughtful of peoples busy lifestyles.

When you make your way downstairs you are offered wraps for free and directed to the changing rooms. Here you have access to fresh towels, hair spray, dry shampoo, blow dryer, straighteners etc very good facilities and equipment which means you don’t need to bring a massive bag with all your getting ready essentials for after the class.

As I was new I was invited in 5 minutes before to run through the names of the moves and a bit about what to expect. There are six rounds over 50 minutes and each one involves punch bag work and strength training combined.  .

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The music was really good, all new R&B and Hip Hop, felt like I was in Libertine haha.

It was a really good workout and I was lucky that there were only 6 people in the class. This meant the instructor had plenty of time to correct me and assist me (as it was my first time). I still have one more class and I am really looking forward to going back again. It was a tough workout but no where near as bad as I had anticipated.

Pricing for packages can be found here – https://www.koboxlondon.com/reserve/index.cfm?action=Reserve.viewSeries

I bought my gym outfit from Only really good quality endurance sports wear and I cannot fault them. Excellent quality sweat proof material. The colors don’t fade after countless washes and they are very easy to move in.

Sports bra – £18

Leggings – £42

Instagram – @keziakco

xxx

 

All Inclusive Holidays and your Diet

Whether you are an avid gym goer or not, most of us make a special effort before we go on holiday. We wait all year for those few weeks off we get and we want to look our best and at the same time thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

Now if you are the same as me, nice food (the naughty food) is part of thoroughly enjoying yourself but you need to be careful, especially in the all inclusive. In these hotels there is no need to think about what you have eaten or what you plan to eat and drink for that day as everything is unlimited.  You always see these typical tourists with plates piled so high that it is almost unimaginable that they could eat it all, unfortunately I have witnessed that it is indeed possible.

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I’m by no means suggesting that you shouldn’t eat anything tasty and off you plan whilst away but please do it within reason. You have worked so hard to achieve this holiday body and are probably feeling fantastic when on the beach and in all you holiday outfits so don’t ruin it now.

What I do:

I often miss breakfast everyday as I honestly cannot wake up on time and anyone who knows me well knows that I love my sleep and a nap. I don’t think it’s a proper holiday if I don’t get to have a daily nap.

First meal of the day is lunch – I usually have a healthy selection of the salads and any meats from the grill and any sauces available. I often finish with a nice plate full of fruits. Diet coke or water to drink.

For dinner I have the same as lunch (maybe a slice of bread if needed)

When I go on holiday I have alcohol in the evenings nearly every night (not ideal I know, but realistic) and for snacks I usually eat crisps (my guilty pleasure). What is a holiday if you don’t lie on the bed after a day of sunbathing eating Lays ey?

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Normally on the last day of the holiday I will go absolutely all out, because I’ve earned it. This involves no holding back and eating exactly what I want and like. You would have noticed from the rest of my blog I do not promote weekly cheat days or meals but this is ok once or twice a year.

Happy holidays

me

Instagram @keziakco

xxx

 

 

Mood and Diet

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I haven’t written a blog for a month but I am back now with a new topic – How our mood can effect our diets, mainly focusing on stress and anxiety.

Whatever life we lead, we will at some point suffer from stress. This effects peoples diets in one of two ways:

  1.  You comfort eat or eat your pain away. When taken to the extreme this is classified as an eating disorder and actually a psychiatric condition.
  2. You don’t eat or under eat. Anorexia is the extreme in this case and a well known eating disorder.

Both 1 and 2 have serious effects on your diet whether they are extreme cases or not. Most people would assume that 1 is far worse than 2 (when thinking about your weight) but that is not necessarily true.

When you are in a good mood you often feel motivated and unstoppable. The more you do the more you can do. You see results, you’re excited to get back to the gym and push yourself. It is a positive cycle, you push yourself to do good and so you achieve good.

When you are in a bad mood you need to try and stop the negative cycle. The less you do, the less you can do. A week eating badly has a knock on effect and the impact can last a lot longer than anticipated.

We all have unique lives and at some point we may all suffer from one of the below:

  • Relationship problems – breakup, divorce, arguments
  • Money worries
  • Exams
  • Work stress
  • Family problems

My personal experience:

When very stressed I can get so absorbed and involved with the issue at hand that I actually forget to eat. As I have trained myself to work out at least 4 times a week and it is now habit but this means I have to be very careful. You should not go to the gym if you are not eating properly. It can be very dangerous causing muscle waste and can lead to weakness and passing out. The immediate effect will be that you loose weight and for some this might seem like a quick way to achieve your goal. Please take note that this will not last, you will not be able to exercise properly, in the long term it is not realistic, you will be skinny but not fit and most likely in a few weeks time over eat to compensate having the opposite effect.

This is why it is so important to focus on health instead of the focus being vanity – looks and weight loss. What is the point of looking fantastic if you don’t feel fantastic. To be honest this isn’t really possible anyway as when you loose weight in the wrong way you often look ill, your skin suffers, you are not toned and look gaunt in the face and I am certain this is no ones goal.

Try and use these difficult times and turn them into something positive. Remember god will only put you in situations that you can handle and they are there to make you stronger. If you are eating properly you can release the stress in the gym and turn those negative feelings into positive ones as when you work out you release endorphins (feel good hormones). Whenever I am down I head to the gym, have a really intense session and often feel great afterwards. I use the gym as a place of therapy and happiness.

Whatever is consuming you don’t let it get in the way of your goals, it simply isn’t worth it.

Just chill like this cat 😉

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Instagram – @keziakco

xxx

 

 

 

Sweatlife Festival 2017

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On Saturday I attended The Sweatlife Festival in Tobacco Docks. It is a large health and fitness event that had many of the famous workout studios attend. It is a great place to go and give classes a try before you buy. You also get the opportunity to pick up some free class tokens for the real thing if your lucky.

The full list of attendees can be found here – https://thesweatlife.co.uk/whats-going-on/

Ticket cost is £30 per person, I found this to be quite reasonable as just one of these classes alone can cost on average £20 so if you do two you have already made your money back.

I was lucky enough to get myself some free tokens for Kobox, Un1t and Psycle and I will most definitely try them all so look out for the reviews to follow.

It was a very good event for trying classes as there were so many choose from throughout the day, however there was very little food and equipment wise. I was very excited to have the opportunity to try new foods, learn about different health supplements, shakes and unfortunately this wasn’t possible. There was also a very limited choice of food,  many of which were not particularly healthy options so we left to get something to eat outside of the venue, which was a shame.

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I attended a yoga class by Helen Russle Clarke. The room where we did this was very large and the class itself was almost full. Despite the venue being extremely busy and all the comings and going of the event you were still able to switch off and enjoy the class. It was a good 45 minute session that involved lots of core strength training. I really enjoyed the class but I would say that if you are not a regular in yoga it can be a bit difficult as Helen directs you using the proper yoga names of poses which not everyone is familiar with. I can imagine normally, in a smaller class this wouldn’t be a problem, but when the class is very large it can be difficult to see how to get into each pose safely and in the correct way.

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All in all it was a great day out but the event does need some improvement.

Instagram @keziakco

xxx

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The Facts about Fruits

Most people believe that fruit is super healthy and if you eat as much as possible of it, you are bound to loose weight and are a super healthy individual. The truth is, it is both healthy and unhealthy and everything in moderation is alright. Fruit contains plenty of fiber, minerals and vitamins that are really beneficial in any diet but most fruits contain a very high sugar content. Too much sugar, no matter where it comes from can seriously impact your weight, health and physical appearance.

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If you are anything like me and love fruit it would be impossible to cut this out of your diet and also quite inadvisable. Despite the sugar content, you do not want to miss out on key nutrients and we all need a bit of natural sugar to keep us going. I would recommend that most fruit is consumed before 12 o clock when your digestive system and metabolism is most active. I would also recommend that if you follow the ‘5 a day’ rule, which is actually now ’10 a day’ that more than 50% of this is vegetables.

Please believe me when I say, you could be the healthiest person and not eat one bite of processed food but if you are eating too much fruit you can still gain weight!

There is a saying that if you eat certain fruits they burn calories. You cannot eat a piece of chocolate cake and then eat 5 grapefruits and hope that this will counteract the cake. The fruits below have certain enzyme qualities that speed up and assist the way we break down food. This allows your metabolism to work at its optimum rate. These fruits are best consumed after a large meal:

  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple
  • Apples
  • Watermelon
  • Berries
  • Papaya

Fruits that are best avoided or eaten least often due to very high sugar content are:

  • Cherries
  • Pomegranate
  • Grapes
  • Mangos
  • Figs

This is only  based on sugar content and each one of these fruits do have their own qualities and benefits.

Bananas actually contain the most amount of sugar and are high in carbs but these provide a lot of healthy energy in the morning. I would not recommend having a banana in the evening and certainly no more than one per day. The trick to consume less sugar is to eat bananas before they are dark yellow, the yellower they are the more sugar they contain. This is why dried fruit contains so much sugar  – the riper the fruit the more sugar it contains, (stay away).

The facts broken down:

Apples – We have all heard the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ and it is some what true. It reduces the risk of lung cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer, especially the red apples.

Bananas – contain  a lot of potassium which helps with good nerve and muscle function.

Blackberries and Blueberries – contain many antioxidants, these help prevent cancer, and studies have shown the blackberry extract to assist with curing lung cancers.

Peaches – Very high in vitamin A, this helps to boost our immune systems and fights off disease and infection.

Raspberries – These contain various acids that help protect you from contracting cervical cancer and consuming them regularly can help cure colon and esophageal cancers.

The list of benefits continues and you can find our more information in this artical I found on Canada Living – http://www.canadianliving.com/health/nutrition/article/the-top-25-healthy-fruits-blueberries-apples-cherries-bananas-and-21-more-healthy-picks

Please do not be fooled by juice bars, natural juices and dried fruit as these are extremely high in sugar and shout be completed removed from any healthy diet. This will protect your weight and your teeth.

Just remember everything should be consumed in moderation and this is just a guideline to make you more mindful when choosing your healthy snack.

Instagram @keziakco

xxx