Vegan, Spicy Sweet Potato, Beetroot and Black Bean Patties


  • One Large Sweet Potato or two small ones
  • One Large Beetroot
  • 1/2 Can of Black Beans (200g)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Chipotle paste
  • 5 Spring Onions – finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic – crushed
  • Handful of Mint Leaves – Chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil for cooking


  • Peel and chop the Sweet Potato and Beetroot into medium size cubes
  • Boil the Beetroot for 5 minutes before adding in the Sweet Potato. Boil both vegetables together for approximately 10-15 minutes until soft enough to mash.
  • Whilst the vegetables are cooking, chop the spring onion and saute in extra virgin olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the onion and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Drain the vegetables and coarsely mash them in the pan with a potato masher. Leave the mixture with small chunks of potato and beetroot.
  • Add the Black Beans and mash further until these have broken down. Keep the mixture quite coarse as much as possible.
  • Stir in a teaspoon of Chipotle paste.
  • Add the chopped mint leaves.
  • Mold the mixture in your hands to form a pattie the size of your palm and shallow fry the patties on each side for 4 minutes until crisp and brown. The mixture should make about 8 good size patties.
  • Serve with a green salad and enjoy!

Healthy Tip

If you are looking to boost your intake of plant-based food then do consider eating Black Beans which are full of vital nutrients. Rich in complete protein, fibre and prebiotics they are fabulous in keeping our microbiome happy and therefore support a healthy immune system. High in essential B vitamins and minerals, the black bean is great for supporting strong bones. The three vegetables complement each other really well in these patties and taste awesome together with the spicy chipotle paste.

Please do give these easy to make patties a go and let me know what you think!

Roasted Butternut Squash, Kiwi Fruit & Pomegranate Salad (Vegan)

Hello! I made this simple yet incredibly sumptuous salad to take to a New Year’s Eve party and it was so popular with the guests that I thought I would share my recipe with you today. Would love to know what you think?


  • 1 Medium sized Butternut Squash
  • 2 Large, ripe Kiwi Fruit (or three small ones)
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • Bag of  of Watercress & Rocket salad leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil for roasting

Salad Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons of Wholegrain Mustard
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Maple Syrup
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a jar with a lid


  • Preheat Oven at 200c; 180c Fan; gas mark 6 or 400f
  • Peel the butternut squash. I find it easier to use a potato peeler for this!
  • Cut the butternut squash into pieces roughly a few millimeters in depth and 2/3 inches long
  • Roast on a baking tray in the middle of the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes until slightly golden brown around the edges. Whilst the butternut squash is roasting:
  • Peel the kiwi fruit and slice thinly
  • Hold the pomegranate and bash around the outside with a wooden spoon to loosen the seeds before cutting the fruit in half
  • Scrape the seeds out into a bowl. Separate the juice from the seeds. The juice will make a lovely drink to accompany the salad!
  • Empty the salad leaves into your serving bowl.
  • Allow the squash to cool down once it has finished roasting
  • Scatter the butternut squash & kiwi fruit out on top of the leaves. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
  • Pour your preferred amount of dressing over the salad just before serving.
  • And Enjoy!

Healthy tip

Today, we live in an environment where we are exposed to millions of toxins; some of which are completely unavoidable. To combat the damage that these chemicals can cause on a cellular level in our bodies, and to maintain good health, we need to be eating a huge variety of colourful vegetables and fruit which are packed full of antioxidants, the compounds necessary to fight oxidation in our cells.

Not only is this salad super tasty. It is also super healthy. Just by looking at the colours will give you an idea that the ingredients are rich in a broad range of antioxidants.

The combination of  textures and flavours of the butternut squash, kiwi fruit and pomegranate in this salad work incredibly well together. I found that in conjunction with the peppery watercress and rocket, all the ingredients complement each other really well. In addition, the tangy dressing enhances the flavour of this salad beautifully and will wow your taste buds no end.

The butternut squash contains complex carbohydrates  and a wealth of micro-nutrients to support a healthy immune function. The yellow-orange colour reflects the beta carotene content which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. This is essential for healthy skin, good eye sight, supports mucous membranes in the body and overall immune system.

Pomegranate seeds are abundant in antioxidants and polyphenols which help fight off damage to our cells. They are a good source of fibre and rich in Vitamin A, C & E. Don’t forget that Vitamin C & E work in synergy helping to combat the damage caused by free radicals in the body. They are considered to be two of the most important antioxidants for cell repair.

Did you know that Kiwi fruit are also amazingly high in Vitamin C? They contain more of this vitamin than citrus fruits. The leafy greens are a wealth of essential fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and so much more. I don’t consider a salad to be a salad without the greenery!

The dressing for this salad is also rich in polyphenols, healthy fats and gut friendly probiotics giving you the permission to be really liberal and use as much as you like!

So all in all, this colourful salad gets a huge thumbs up and scores very highly in my books as well as in the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index).

Using only 100% natural skincare is also a fantastic way of protecting our cells from free radical damage. Take a look at Tropic’s range of skincare which is loaded with some of the world’s most nutritious, botanical ingredients and antioxidants of the highest potency. Using Tropic will also detox and improve your skin no end!

Vegan Seeded Oat Cakes


  • 2 Cups of Chia Seeds
  • 60ml Filtered Water
  • 3 Cups of Oats
  • 1 Tablespoon of Flax or Linseed
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sesame Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup of Coconut oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt


  • Preheat Oven at 180c Fan, 360 F (190c non-fan)
  • Place Chia seeds into a bowl and add 60 ml of filtered water. Leave to absorb.
  • Using a high-powered blender, blitz the oats, together with the Flax or Linseed until crumbly. Add the salt and cayenne pepper.
  • Spread the blitzed oat mixture out on a baking tray and pop in the oven for approx 7 minutes to toast a little.
  • Meanwhile, add the coconut oil to the chia seeds and pour 60mls of boiling water to melt the oil. Mix together until all is combined
  • Remove oat mixture from oven and combine with the chia seed mixture. Mix until a dough ball is formed.
  • Place on a sheet of baking paper. Roll out to 4mm thick. Cut out your cookies and place on a baking tray lined with paper.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes until slightly golden brown.
  • These are gorgeous served with homemade with hummus or guacamole.
  • They will keep for a week in an airtight container!

Healthy Tip

These lovely, light, crisp oatcakes are a perfect snack to have with any homemade dip.  Oats are extremely high in fibre and score low on the glycemic index. Eating oats will provide a slow release of energy which make them perfect for stabilising blood sugar and preventing any sudden cravings. The little power houses that are Chia and Flax seeds are loaded with the all essential Omega 3 fatty acids and are abundant in protein and minerals. Sesame seeds are incredibly high in calcium and add such a lovely flavour to these crackers.  To top this, all three of these seeds contain lignans which are powerful antioxidants and good for immune system support. What a bonus! Ultimately, these crackers are free from any of the usual gut-aggravates such as dairy, sugar and gluten and are perfect in supporting a healthy gut.  For those who have non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) please use oats that have not been cross contaminated with other gluten grains.

Hope you enjoy!

Healthy Banana Loaf



  • 2 Cups of Wholemeal Rye Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Bicarb. Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 2 Medium size Eggs -beaten
  • 2 Large ripe bananas – mashed
  • 4 Tablespoons Raw Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Golden or Maple syrup
  • Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Pinch of Sea Salt


  • Pre-heat oven at 180c (Fan) 200c (non fan)
  • Melt the coconut oil gently in a pan.
  • Add the Golden or Maple syrup and Cinnamon and remove from the heat. Mix to combine the ingredients
  • Measure out the flour into a mixing bowl
  • Add the Bicarbonate of soda and Baking powder and mix together.
  • Mash the bananas in a separate bowl
  • Add the coconut oil mixture, eggs and banana to the flour mixture
  • Mix together until all the ingredients are combined
  • Pour into a small loaf tin
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. Use a fine skewer to ensure the middle is baked enough.

Healthy tip

I  don’t know about you but I often find that by the end of the week, I am left with a few over-ripe bananas with a flavour too intense for my taste buds. However, I hate throwing food away and constantly strive to use up whatever leftover food I have, to create new, healthy-gut recipes.

Bananas are seriously good for us. They contain natural fibres called Prebiotics which feed our gut bacteria and help to boost a healthy immune system. They also soothe the lining of the gut helping to calm any stomach complaints. High in the heart protecting mineral, Pottasium and rich in Magnesium which is a mineral essential for many functions of the body; It has been found to help headaches, fatigue, depression to name a few! in fact, it is used for 300 different enzymatic processes in the body and often, we are deficient in this critical mineral!

My banana cake is sweetened with a little golden syrup, cinnamon and of course the natural sugars from the bananas themselves. It may be possible to reduce the syrup or omit this completely if you would like to reduce the sugar content. It is perfectly (dare I say the word) ‘moist’ and has a lovely crispy crust. A perfect lunchbox filler for children or a delicious elevenses snack for you!

Would love to hear your feedback after you’ve given this a go, so please do comment on my blog!


Protein Bites


  • 3 Tablespoons of Raw Cacao nibs
  • 40 Cashew Nuts & 40 Almonds (roughly 4 oz)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Flax Seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons of Raw Pressed Coconut Oil
  • 10 Medjool dates
  • Pinch Salt
  • A Few extra, broken Pumpkin seeds for topping


  • Mill the Cacao Nibs to a fine powder
  • Mill the Cashews and Almonds until the oil is released and a butter is formed. I find pulsing the mixture helps.
  • Mill the Chia and Flax seeds together. A couple of pulses in the processor will be enough.
  • Pulse the Pumpkin seeds so they break up…try not to mill to a fine powder
  • Melt the coconut oil in a pan
  • Remove the stones from the dates and blend in the processor until a gooey paste is formed. You may need to add a little melted coconut oil to help this along.
  • Add all the ingredients to the pan and mix until a soft, sticky dough is formed.
  • Spread the dough out evenly into a lined baking tray keeping the mixture at least 5cm thick.
  • Sprinkle with crushed pumpkin seeds.
  • Allow to cool and then refrigerate.
  • Cut into bite size pieces.

Healthy tip

You will love these nutritionally dense, protein bites. They taste delicious and have a gorgeous, fudge-like texture. Free from refined sugar, grains or dairy, these bites will satisfy any elevenses or afternoon cravings without spiking your blood glucose. Loaded with healthy fats, including the much needed Omega 3’s and rich in protein and fibre, these bites will provide a slow release of energy and keep you feeling satisfied for longer without any sugar crashes. The perfect snack if you are looking to eliminate sugar and opt for healthier alternative. You certainly won’t feel deprived after eating one of these! Free from all the gut-aggravating ingredients too to support a healthy immune system …it’s a win-win!

These should keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.


Tamarind Roasted Sweet Potato, Green Lentil, Chilli & Mint Salad

  • 8 oz Cooked Green Lentils
  • 4 oz Walnuts, Toasted.
  • 3 Spring Onions
  • 2 Small, Green Chillies
  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • Tablespoon of Olive oil for roasting
  • 2 Teaspoons of Tamarind Paste
  • 5-6 Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped

For the dressing

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Teaspoon of Honey
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper for taste
  • Preheat the oven at 220 c for fan.
  • Slice the sweet potato with the skin on into 3 cm pieces. Mix the sweet potato in a bowl with the Tamarind paste. Transfer to a roasting pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for approximately 20 minutes until soft and golden brown.
  • Toast the walnuts in a griddle or frying pan for 8 minutes until crisp. Break into pieces afterwards.
  • Chop the spring onions
  • Tear up the mint leaves
  • De-seed the chillies and chop finely
  • Place all the ingredients into a large glass bowl.
  • For the dressing – Mix the  lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey and salt & cracked pepper for taste. Pour over the salad and serve!

For an extra non-vegan bite to this salad, crumble some Feta cheese on top!

Healthy tip

Green lentils are a delicious source of complete protein; they are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and work perfectly in a salad. They are also a rich source of prebiotics providing food for our friendly gut bacteria which supports a healthy immune system.  I always like to add fresh herbs to my salads making them tastier and more alkalising. Mint is incredibly fresh and helps to promote good digestion as well as soothe the stomach. The walnuts and sweet potato inject a different texture to the salad, adding further nourishment to this dish. The zesty lemon dressing works really well in conjunction with the ingredients, it enhances the nutritional value contributing a wealth of Vitamin C and compliments the salad perfectly.

Red Cabbage & Carrot Sauerkraut With Caraway Seeds & Garlic – A Natural Probiotic


  • One medium size red cabbage
  • 2 Medium size carrots
  • 2 Heaped teaspoons of quality sea salt
  • 2 Heaped teaspoons of caraway seeds
  • 2 Cloves of garlic – grated
  • 1 Litre size mason jar with tight fitting lid
  • Filtered or Natural spring water


  • Shred or grate the cabbage and carrots into a large glass bowl.
  • Add the salt and massage with your hands rubbing the salt into the mixture until it draws out the juice and the cabbage becomes limp (more salt takes longer to ferment)
  • Add the grated garlic and caraway seeds and mix the ingredients together
  • Spoon the mixture into the jar, pressing the cabbage down continually until it is immersed in the brine.
  • Top up with a little water allowing the mixture to absorb the water slowly. Push the mixture down so the top is immersed in the brine. Allow approximately a 2 inch gap between the top of the mixture and the lid. This is necessary as the mixture will expand as the cabbage soaks up the water and will bubble over whilst it ferments.
  • Cover the jar. Leave at room temperature for 3 days-2 weeks, checking daily for the first few days that all the cabbage remains under the water. By opening the lid, burps the jar too. Keep pushing the cabbage under the brine.
  • If left longer, a disc will form on top. Simply peel off and discard. The Sauerkraut is still edible and richer in beneficial bacteria.
  • Once opened, keep refrigerated.
  • Enjoy as a condiment with anything and everything!

Healthy Tip

Lactic acid fermentation, which incidentally can be carried out on any food with a complex or simple sugar content, has been an efficient method of preserving food for hundreds of years dating back to our ancestors. Apart from producing the good bacteria (Lactobacillus) necessary for supporting good health, the fermentation process will increase the activity of vitamin C and vitamin A in the case of  sauerkraut. It also increases the bio-availability of any micro and macro nutrients, particularly the amino acid, Lysine which has an antiviral effect in the body.

Based on many studies, it is understood that if you suffer with digestive problems it will be almost impossible to permanently eliminate them unless you improve the balance between the beneficial bacteria and the build up of bad bacteria that exist naturally in your gut (an imbalance is called Dysbiosis) There are ways of targeting and eliminating bad bacteria that cause flatulence, pain, bloatedness and erratic or irregular bowel movements (please get in touch or leave a comment below if you would like to know more) as well as increasing the good guys.

Eating fermented or cultured foods which are naturally rich in probiotics is one way to increase our friend army of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Having a little sauerkraut as a condiment on the side and eaten on a daily basis with any meal will go a long way in improving your gastrointestinal health and therefore supporting good health in general.

It’s so easy to make! Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Rich & Raw Chocolate Fudge Bites

  • 2 Tablespoons of Flax seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons of Raw Cacao nibs
  • 5 oz Almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons of Raw, Cold Pressed, Organic Coconut oil
  • 1 Medium size organic Apple, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 Medjool dates (optional)


  • Preheat oven at 180c fan; 200c non-fan
  • Scatter the Almonds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown
  • Whilst the Almonds are toasting, mill the Flax seeds and Cacao nibs until a fine powder is produced.
  • Melt the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan and mix in the flax and cacao nib powder until a paste is formed. Cook for approx 2 minutes. Remove from heat
  • Make the Almond nut butter by placing the nuts into a high powered blender (I use a Nutri-Bullet) and pulse, and keep pulsing until a smooth oily butter is formed. You may need to keep stopping and scraping the mixture away from the sides in order to keep blending.
  • Add the flax and cacao nib paste to the almond butter in the blender and leave to one side.
  • In the same pan used for the flax and cacao nib paste, melt another teaspoon of coconut oil and add the chunks of apple. Cook the apple for approximately 5 minutes until it is softened slightly.
  • Add the apple to the mix and blend everything together for a minute until all is combined. (add the Medjool dates here too, if required)
  • Spread the mixture out on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper, into a square, allowing for your preferred thickness. I did a depth of about 3 inches
  • Place in the fridge for about 1 1/2 hours for it to set.
  • Cut into bite size pieces and enjoy with a coffee!
Healthy tip

These raw chocolate fudge bites are a perfect fix to curb any cravings for sugary snacks and go so well with a cup of coffee. They are fairly rich and provide a real kick so these are not for the faint hearted! Rich in raw, dark chocolate they have a slight bitter taste to them. However, the chocolate adds a potent fix of antioxidants to the mix. The flax seeds inject a burst of fibre to help support a healthy gut whilst also providing a healthy boost of Omega 3’s.  The coconut oil and almonds are rich in healthy fats too which our bodies are so in need of and need to be eaten in the absence of sugar. The apple adds a gentle sweetness to the combination, as well as vitamins, pectin, polyphenols and fibre all of which help support good digestion and detox processes in the body. Apples are also a natural source of prebiotic which is needed to feed our good bacteria, as well as providing protection against inflammation damage to the intestinal tissues.

Don’t forget that our immune system in the gastro-intestinal tract is a high component of human health, estimated to be around 70-80%.  It is so important to nourish and nurture your inner eco-system with foods rich in micro and macro nutrients that feed our gut bacteria and provide the right kind of information to our bodies to keep prevent disease and keep us healthy.

Free from dairy, gluten and sugar these bites make an ideal accompaniment with a warm drink and are super healthy.   If you prefer a sweeter version, add a couple of Medjool dates to the mix alongside the apple.  Keep them in the fridge for up to a week.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Antioxidant-Rich, Roasted Beetroot, Pomegranate & Walnut Salad

Serves 2 People


  • 400g Beetroot
  • 3 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil
  • 1/2 Pomegranate
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 50g Walnuts
  • 100g Feta Cheese; cubed or broken into pieces
  • Bag of mixed Salad Leaves
  • 1 Sweet Potato
For the dressing
  • Juice of half ruby Grapefruit
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tsp Honey or Maple Syrup
  • Rock Salt & Black Pepper to taste
  • Preheat Oven at 200c (fan)
  • Place the oil in a large roasting tin and start to heat in the oven.
  • Top and tail the Beetroot and cut into quarters ( or eighths if beetroot are particularly large).
  • Peel the Sweet Potato and cut into good size wedges
  • Pop the Beetroot, Sweet Potato and Garlic cloves (still in their skin) into your roasting tray and roast for 45 minutes
  • Toast the Walnuts in a griddle or flat based pan for about 5 minutes until they are crispy brown. Be careful, as these can burn quickly. Once these are done, break them down in a pestle and mortar into smaller pieces .
  • Bash the sides of a whole Pomegranate all the way round to loosen the seeds before cutting in half and removing them. Remove the seeds and then put these to one side.
  • Prepare the dressing by mixing the juice of one Grapefruit, extra virgin olive oil, honey (or maple syrup) and salt and pepper into a small jug.
  • Remove the roasties from the oven. Bash the Garlic cloves in a pestle & mortar together with a little oil from the roasting tin.
  • Mix the toasted Walnuts with the crushed garlic.
  • Place a handful of salad leaves onto 2 plates. Bring the salad together by sharing out the Beetroot, sprinkle over the Walnuts combined with the crushed Garlic cloves, Pomegranate seeds and lastly the Feta cheese.
  • Dress liberally with the Grapefruit dressing and serve with a side portion of the Sweet Potato wedges.
Healthy tip

Not only is this whole food salad incredibly nourishing and delicious, the array of colours on this plate gives you an idea just how nutritious this meal really is.

Pomegranate is considered a super-food and has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The seeds are abundant in antioxidants and polyphenols which help fight off damage to our cells. They are a good source of fibre and rich in Vitamin A, C & E. Don’t forget that Vitamin C & E work in synergy helping to combat the damage caused by free radicals in the body. They are considered to be two of the most important antioxidants for cell repair. These ruby-red seeds really compliment the taste of the roasted Beetroot, too. Beetroot, as you probably already know, is one of my favourite vegetables. It is rich in Iron and Folate; high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants all of which help towards maintaining healthy blood pressure, hormone balance and a healthy immune system.

The toasted Walnuts add a fantastic crunch to this salad providing the much-needed healthy fix of Omega 3’s that oil the workings of a healthy mind (amongst others). Walnuts are also high in minerals, protein and fibre which is essential for a happy gut too. They are low on the glycemic scale helping to regulate our blood glucose and prevent any cravings. The sweet potatoes inject a lovely and satisfying sweet texture to the mix and are loaded with beta carotene helping to keep our eyes, skin and mucous membranes healthy.

The Grapefruit dressing is another delicious complement to this dish and is extremely high in Vitamin C; as is all citrus fruit. The Extra Virgin Olive oil, also high in antioxidants and abundant in healthy fats increases the nutrient density of this vibrant dish and together with the green salad, provides extra Vitamin C, fibre and other phyto-nutrients.

Delicious and nourishing on so many levels, you can’t really go wrong with this totally balanced, nutrient-dense meal which scores highly on the ANDI scale (Aggregate Nutrient Dense Index).

For a vegan salad, omit the feta cheese!

Wonders of the Vitamin C & Vitamin E Partnership

Air Pollution has been a hot topic in the news recently which has compelled me to write this piece on how we can limit the negative effects of toxins in our body, aid our defences to protect against disease and support our detox processes.

What are free radicals?

Environmental pollution today is a major concern to us all, we are under constant attack from millions of toxins, 24/7. Free radicals are the unstable molecules that are formed by our metabolism when we fight the toxins in our body. These have the ability to cause oxidative stress within our cells that can lead to damaged tissue in our bodies, premature ageing, hormone disruption and disease. Oxidative stress happens when the amount of free radicals exceeds the amount of antioxidants that we supply our body with resulting in damage to the mitrochondria and DNA of our cells.

Toxins are everywhere in the atmosphere, radiating from our wireless devices; from traffic pollution, electricity supplies; and chemicals in building materials. They are found in cosmetics, creams, lotions and potions that we rub into our skin, cigarette smoke, household cleaners, laundry soaps and pesticides. Fried and processed foods, sugar, alcohol and stress hormones also generate free radicals in the body, causing inflammation and oxidative stress. Little do we know of the silent battle we are constantly fighting within our cells.

How do you know if you have oxidative stress?

When we are not supporting our natural defences with good nutrition, including an abundance of antioxidants, these free radicals can have a low level and taxing effect on our bodily functions causing fatigue, inflammation, low mood, brain fog, muscle aches, poor digestion, ageing and our ability to eliminate toxins from the body. Oxidation increases when we are physically or emotionally stressed too but as long as you are supplying your body with enough antioxidants, a careful balance is maintained and damage can be prevented.

How to reduce oxidative stress

The obvious way to reduce oxidative stress is to limit our exposure to environmental toxins.  Swapping our cleaning and laundry products for non toxic ones helps to reduce toxins in the home; switching off Wifi devices when they are not in use limits the EMF’s in our environment; taking long walks in the countryside and woods, away from traffic pollution, helps to detox our lungs; and by using only 100% natural skin care products will help nourish our skin cells from the outside-in as well as working with the defences of the skin.

By developing a Yoga or Meditation practice is a fabulous and effective way of helping to reduce stress in the body but that is a topic for another time!

Finally, I can’t emphasise enough just how important it is to load our body with antioxidants to help our crucial fight with inflammation and protect against disease. The two key players namely Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Vitamin E and Vitamin C in synergy

Antioxidants are abundant in plant based foods, especially colourful fruits and vegetables. Two of the most powerful ones are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Not only do these vitamins have individual roles to play within our cells but they complement each other too.  Beautifully, these two vitamins work in conjunction, supporting each other’s antioxidant function. Vitamin C restores Vitamin E’s antioxidant function so that it can continue to protect the mitochondria in the cell from damage. Some would argue that we need to supplement with both of these antioxidants because despite our best efforts in trying to incorporate foods containing these vitamins into our diet on a daily basis, this still may not be enough ammunition to overcome our constant fight with free radicals.

Synergistic Benefits for Skin

It is easy to forget that our skin is one of the body’s first lines of defence and acts like a barrier against a chemical attack of pathogens or infection. Vitamins C and E have complementary roles to play in skin health. Both these nutrients play a vital role in protecting our skin cells from sun damage because they neutralize the free radicals generated during sun exposure. They work together to maintain healthy collagen, a protein important for skin strength as well as our bones & ligaments. Recent research suggests that having both vitamins in your skin helps to prevent sun damage better than Vitamin C or E on its own.

Which foods contain Vitamin C and Vitamin E?

Vitamin C is water soluble and found in a vast array of fruits and vegetables; the greatest source are the citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits followed closely by fruits such as the kiwi, strawberries and dark leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin E is fat soluble and found in foods such as Avocado, raw nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, broccoli & tomatoes.

Healthy tip

Sneak citrus fruits into your cooking where ever possible by squeezing lemon or lime juice on fish or chicken. Think about making salad dressings with citrus juices combined with Extra Virgin Olive oil which contains Vitamin E. Load your plate with an array of colourful vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and red peppers, carrots, sweet potato and beetroots all of which contain different antioxidants.

Avocado is fantastic source of Vitamin E and combined with raw nuts and seeds makes for a fabulous thick and creamy smoothie. I have one of these most days combined with spinach and a little frozen banana! Avocados are so versatile that they can be included in desserts as well as savoury dishes.