blood sugar regulation

What's so special about courgette?

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Courgette also known as zucchini is a member of the summer squash family. It has some amazing health benefits; helping to balance blood sugar levels, supports eye health and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Recent studies have indicated that courgette is one of the riches sources of a number of health supporting carotenoids. The skin of the courgette is particularly packed with these nutrients which are especially beneficial for eye health.

Nutrients including folate, choline, zinc and magnesium and vitamins B6, B1, B2 and B3 all contribute to the blood sugar balancing benefits of courgette. Additionally, courgette is high in dietary fibre and the seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids, which further enhance these properties. By aiding insulin regulation, this combination of nutrients may offer protection against diabetes.

Courgette contains excellent levels of the mineral manganese and high levels of vitamin C which contribute to its antioxidant benefits. The omega3 fatty acids in the seeds provide anti-inflammatory benefits especially notable for the gastro-intestinal tract and cardio-vascular system.

Courgette is extremely versatile and can be grated onto salads, pureed into a creamy vegetable soup or used in chunks in a ratatouille or minestrone soup. It can be tossed into a frittata, used as courgette ribbons instead of pasta or sliced into crudités to serve with a tahini dip. Steaming or healthy sautéing in water helps retain most of the courgette’s fantastic nutrients.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Astonishing Apples

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‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’; Fact or myth? Read on to see why there are plenty of truths to this old wives’ tale!

Apples provide fantastic cardio-vascular support. Not only does the soluble fibre known as pectin help to reduce blood pressure, but it also supports the balance of blood sugar levels. This is achieved by promoting insulin release and at the same time reducing the absorption of glucose into the blood stream.

Pectin will also help to promote a healthy digestive system. It is used by the healthy bacteria to sooth the walls of the gut and can help with diarrhoea.

Apples provide exceptional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support. Quercetin, one of the best known anti-oxidants in apples, is particularly rich in the apple skins. Quercetin has been associated with a reduced risk of asthma and lung cancer, however researchers believe there may be other mechanisms at work in apples to contribute to these findings.

There are endless ways to cook with apples; Chuck them into a smoothie, juice with carrots and ginger, spruce up a salad or stuff with dried fruit and bake in the oven. But for the best healthy treat; slice the apple, spread with almond nut butter, sprinkle mixed seeds and a pinch of cinnamon and devour!

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

If you are interested in reading more ‘Nutritional Nuggets’, top tips and the latest nutrition news, sign up to my monthly newsletter at www.marcellerosenutrition.co.uk and like my Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/marcellerosenutrition/

 

Scrumptious Squash

Butternut squash has a distinctive bell like shape, tan coloured skin and rich, sweet, orangey flesh. This winter squash is bursting with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and is therefore an outstanding ingredient for any meal.

Butternut squash is one of the richest sources of alpha and beta carotenes, and is a great source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. With the addition of high vitamin A content, this vegetable is a valuable food for eye health and offers overall antioxidant protection.

Butternut squash is also thought to have excellent properties for promoting cardio-vascular health. Squash contains a specific starch, fibre and B vitamins which contribute towards its blood sugar regulating properties and maybe beneficial for preventing type 2 diabetes.

Top Tip: Scoop out and separate the seeds (from the pulp), place them on a baking sheet and roast at 60° F for approximately 20 minutes and enjoy them as a healthy snack. The seeds are rich in healthy oils and are an excellent source of tryptophan, which is required to make the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin.

How to eat your butternut squash: Puree, steam, blend, bake, stuff or stew. Or simply roast, cut in half, add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and a dash of tahini and tuck in!

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

If you are interested in reading more ‘Nutritional Nuggets’, top tips and the latest nutrition news, sign up to my monthly newsletter atwww.marcellerosenutrition.co.uk