Tune into Julie Meek’s Performance Podcast from 14 October on The Morning Show on 6PR 882 AM Talkback Radio with Gareth Parker. Catch up on information, news and tips on all things performance and nutrition.
I really, really like food. I love eating it. I love cooking it. I also love to share it.
Food is something that almost everyone has an opinion about and I do know for sure that having the correct information about how to eat well is crucial. There has never been a more challenging time to gather accurate, evidence based information on food and nutrition. The huge numbers of social influencers and celebrities out there sharing their take on eating well can be rather overwhelming or underwhelming – depending on which side of the fence you are standing on.
One of my other favourite pastimes is having a good chat. My love of a good chat is fodder for many jokes in my household – just ask and they will tell you.
The thing is, the main reason I started my journey as a Dietitian was because I wanted to help others choose good food and enjoy all the wonderful things it has to offer for our health and wellbeing. A career that involves conversations and food is the perfect combo for me.
Our State On A Plate
So, you can imagine my great excitement when I was offered a presenting role on a Western Australian TV production all about food! Our State on a Plate showcases Western Australia’s leading primary producers, telling their story and the hard work behind creating the states best produce. The show also highlights food events, farmers markets and anywhere food is celebrated and enjoyed in Western Australia.
The show is now in its fourth season and the first three episodes of Our State on a Plate have now been aired. If you haven’t seen them yet, you can view them here
I am lucky enough to work alongside some very clever people too. Each week, Western Australian chef Stuart Laws, is joined by a a team of culinary experts, highlighting the best of the west, celebrating our local industries, amazing eateries, fresh seafood suppliers and more.
Who Is In The Gang?
This lovely group of experts includes Blake Proud, Riki Kaspi and Foni Politt. Blake is on the hunt for the best burger in Perth and also dishes up some of his delicious home cooked favourites. Riki weaves true magic in the kitchen with her Middle Eastern inspired dishes and acclaimed wine sommelier and restaurateur Foni Politt shares her expertise on wine. Lets face it, there is clearly something for everyone.
So far on the show, I have spoken about the benefits of drinking kefir and growing broccoli sprouts (not together of course!), the wonder of hemp seeds, how to get enough protein in your diet and a step by step guide to making a scrumptious Beef Burrito Bowl. The bowl was made with the regeneratively farmed and grass fed Dirty Clean Food beef.
There is so much good stuff going on every Sunday afternoon. There are many chats about food and it’s all credible. For me, that is a win-win.
You can tune in on Sundays’ at 5.30pm on Channel 9. I will see you there!
This time last week I set out on a run. A short while later I was lying on the ground in a little ball, trying to work out how I got there.
Lets go back a few steps. If only I could.
I am an early riser and my alarm starts buzzing at around 5am. To be honest, I am not leaping out of bed every morning with enthusiasm but I do recognise that if I don’t get up, I don’t exercise. If I don’t exercise I get mad. Lets just say I am not my best version of myself without exercising. Ask anyone in my house and I have no doubt they will gladly tell you.
I am also not a great sleeper. I’ve struggled with this for years and sleep for me is an ongoing project that continually does not pass the mark. More on that later.
My running buddy Karin and I work well together because we rarely cancel on each other and we run at the same pace. This pace varies wildly depending on the day, the week, the pitch blackness of the morning, whether we have worn the right socks, clothes and the presence of any injuries but hey, we are out there.
It’s a shame that the smarter part of my brain does not process a lot of information at this time of the morning. However, on the other side of the coin, the lack of processing and critical thinking at 5am does allow one to be on autopilot and get out there before the reality is registered.
So with all that in mind, there we were setting out for our usual Tuesday morning run last week.
Mix The Run Up They Said
Karin and I are creatures of habit and pretty much run the same route twice a week. This route is along the coast and because it is just so gorgeous, we find it hard to tear ourselves away from it. We always run in a northerly direction because we agree that section is much nicer than going south. Even as I write this, I know this makes no sense at 5.30am in the morning, when it is pitch black for half the year and there is nothing to be seen. During winter it can also get incredibly windy and wild but still, there we are on the SAME path.
Last Tuesday morning, we made the momentous decision to run south. Sponteneity here we come.
Before I go on, let’s be clear that it was still dark. Others would disagree but that is my truth.
Both of us were feeling pumped about being so inventive and then BOOM. Five minutes into our brand new route, a tuft a grass appears out of nowhere and trips me up.
For those of you that have fallen over recently, you will remember that surreal feeling as you fly through the air with not a single bit of control over what happens next. Inevitably what does happen next, usually involves skin being left behind and the possibility of snapping bones.
Once that little flying sideshow had come to an abrupt halt with the tuft of grass and several other people looking on, I laid there assessing the damage. My first very real concern was for my active wear. Were there any holes? Anyone who has purchased a piece of active wear will understand the dollar signs that were flashing before my eyes. Thankfully all fibres were intact.
Secondly, I congratulated myself on doing an expert downward dog, transitioning to plank and then cobra all in one motion, missing my face altogether. Namaste to Athanae, Mia and Sarah for showing me those skills. I also noted that my bones seemed to be in one piece and I again felt thankful that I loved dairy products and was constantly funnelling all that calcium into them.
Unfortunately, various patches of skin had not fared as well and even as we speak, the mending process continues.
I would like to say that falling over is a totally new experience for me but sadly I do have a small portfolio of my earlier works during a run. Its not just me either. The only other time we strayed inland due to the wind a few months ago, Karin did an impressive somersault and forward roll while we were out running, so I am not alone people. Not at all.
What does this have to do with you?
I am betting that at some stage in your life you may have been tripped over, either literally or figuratively. You may have had to lie down, maybe not next to a tuft of grass but it may have been on the carpet, under a desk or even a handy tree when your body or brain has not done what it was supposed to do.
Whilst I was enjoying the coolness of that small tuft of grass, there was a moment in time to ponder what went wrong and what I could do differently. You might find these things handy too.
Forget about peptides, EPO and other fancy pants potions to lift your physical performance – here are my top tips for not falling over.
1. Rest Up Before You Run (Or Do Anything Really)
It can only be a good thing to get enough sleep and feel rested when you wake up in the morning. There are many things that can impact on whether this happens or not but it is absolutely the key ingredient to performing at your best. I have written about sleep before today and you can read more about my thoughts on being sleeping beauty here.
I am currently trialling a weighted blanket, which I am sure will be helpful once I adapt to not sweating like a pig and thinking I have a sandbag draped over me. Watch this space and by all means, share your thoughts if you have got up close and personal with one of these heavyweights.
Seriously though, do your best to get enough good quality sleep. Your feet are most definitely more able to lift and bypass obstacles when out and about. Regardless of what you are doing.
2. Look Down And Around
There are plenty of inspirational quotes and memes around to remind us to look UP and see the world. This is all well and good but what about looking down too? If you don’t look down, you can’t see what’s in front of you. Yes, it can be refreshing not to know exactly what is coming up in life but doing a little gazing into the near future ahead of you can bring its own rewards.
Right now in this world of ours, it’s a little difficult to look too far ahead but it doesn’t need to stop you having an eye on possibilities.
3. Mix Things Up
Karin and I have had a team meeting and agree that running the same way all the time can only lead to boredom and lack of motivation. We also agree that falling over is not an ideal part of the training schedule.
Keeping your exercise or other health and lifestyle related routines in life fresh as a daisy is key to staying the course. When things become ho hum, the likelihood of keeping healthy habits and behaviours up, is much less likely. You don’t need to be continually reinventing the wheel but doing something different just once each week can put a pep in your step. The same principle can be applied to a new recipe for dinner, scheduling in ‘you’ time or dare I say, taking a different direction or path.
Acne can be such a difficult thing to deal with, both as a teenager and an adult. One of my teenagers is struggling through as we speak and I am finding that this common skin issue can have a deep and lasting impact on self-confidence and esteem and can be a tricky thing to deal with.
We know that there are medications, topical washes and creams that can be used alongside good skin hygiene.
But what about the link between what you eat and acne?
Food, Food, Food
The role of food, diet and acne has been the subject of research for some time. Most of this research has shown that the link between the two has been tenuous.
Despite this, a study conducted by researchers at the RMIT University in Melbourne showed some promising findings. They investigated the effect of diet on two groups of men aged 15-25 years over 3 months. One group ate a typical Western diet containing highly processed foods, such as white bread, biscuits and potato chips. The other group ate a higher protein, low glycemic index diet containing fresh fruits, vegetables, lean red meat, chicken, seafood and whole grains. Processed and takeaway foods were kept to a minimum. This was known as the Anti-Acne Diet.
The Anti-Acne Diet was found to reduce acne by more than 50% over the 12 weeks. Some of the healthier choices made during this study were:
The Western Diet vs. The Anti-Acne Diet
Protein rich foods such as red meat, poultry, fish and eggs were also part of the package and and should be consumed at each meal for healthy skin. Not surprisingly, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly were important also.
While this study has made some significant findings, further research is required.
For more information on the glycemic index, checkout my post abut the ups and downs of energy here.
And lastly, although the Teenage Anti- Acne Diet publication is now quite a few years old, it still makes a lot of sense and it can be found right here.
Have you ever tried kefir?
You many have seen kefir in the supermarket or small grocery stores and it is most definitely gathering in popularity.
Gut health has never been more topical and words such as kefir, probiotics, microbiome, and beneficial bacteria, get bounced around a lot these days. Our gut is a busy place and keeping it in good shape is vital to boost our immunity, reduce inflammation and boost our mood.
You may have heard of prebiotics and probiotics – they can reduce the number of harmful bacteria that may survive in our gut. These guys can also add communities of good bacteria into our gut too.
What Are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are mostly soluble fibres and resistant starches that act as the fuel for our good bacteria in the large intestine or colon. They get the party started by being fermented by gut bacteria.
Some foods that are naturally high in prebiotic’s include green bananas, cashew nuts, legumes, raw oats and roasted and then cooled, potato.
What Are Probiotic’s?
Probiotic’s are quite different as they are live bacteria that are naturally found in our gut and in some foods.
Three particular foods that are rich in probiotic’s include:
Kombucha begins its life as sugary black or green tea, which are then fermented with a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The SCOBY eat most of the sugar in the tea and this results in a fizzy, slightly sour drink.
Kimchi is a spicy, fermented cabbage with Korean flavours of garlic, ginger and chilli. You can make this at home or purchase from almost anywhere now.
Fermented Kefir Goodness
Kefir is a fermented drink, usually made with milk but can also be made with coconut water and coconut milk. It is known to contain around 30 strains of beneficial bacteria.
Kefir grains are not actually grains like cereals but are colonies of yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The grains look a lot like cooked tapioca or sago in appearance. Some say the grains look like tiny cauliflowers but I have not had the same vision!
How To Make Kefir
To make kefir, firstly find a friend or family member who already has some growing. My friend Roberta and Richard gifted some grains to me a while back. They are are now 10 years old and have been shared around the community many times.
To get your batch started, measure your kefir grains (these are the starter culture) and simply add the same volume of milk to a glass container and cover. The container should be left on the kitchen bench in a cool place.
Over the next 24 hours, the microorganisms in the grains multiply and ferment the lactose (sugar) that are naturally occurring in the milk, turning it into kefir.
You then sieve the liquid, remove the grains and repeat the same process on a daily basis. The liquid that remains is the kefir that you can now drink! Kefir tastes quite sour like natural yoghurt but is delicious in a smoothie, overnight oats, pancakes or just on its own.
Would You Like Some Kefir?
My grains have been growing very rapidly lately and I have four small portions to share. If you would like your very own kefir grains, be the first to tell me.
If you are a parent, step parent, grandparent or guardian of a child, then you will instinctively know that teaching children how to prepare food is important. Although a separate entity unto themselves, teenage boys are no exception.
Should Teenage Boys Be In The Kitchen?
Absolutely. All kids and teenagers, both boys and girls, need to learn how to prepare healthy food. Kids in the kitchen get to learn and have an opportunity to practice math when they are measuring ingredients. They also brush up on their vocabulary, grammar and language skills when they read a recipe.
Kids in the kitchen get to try new foods and ingredients when they cook and they get to be creative too. This can only be a positive for teenage boys in particular, as they are full-time eating machines and are ALWAYS hungry.
As a Dietitian I get it. As a mum of three kids I get it. I advise other parents to do it.
A Distinct Lack Of Enthusiasm
As a mum and especially as a Dietitian, I have always been proactive in teaching my three kids to prepare food. I believe that if kids can learn how to make five dishes for dinner, they will be able to look after themselves when (and if!) they move out of home. Of course, its not just about dinner as learning how to prepare other meals and snacks is vital too.
Our three were most definitely more enthusiastic about cooking, especially baking, when they were smaller and really just wanted the ultimate prize of the icing on top of the cupcake. Now as teenagers, I have noticed a distinct downturn in the enthusiasm. To be fair, the lack of enthusiasm is spread very evenly across nearly everything I would like them to do. Sigh.
The Difference Between Teenage Boys And Girls
Miss’s 15 and 17 are both enrolled in cooking classes of various descriptions at school and both can cook. It doesn’t mean that we are treated to five star dinners on a regular basis but the skills are there.
Mr 13 does not have the opportunity to learn how to cook at school but is a veritable Michelin chef in the bacon and eggs department. I am also constantly revising and reteaching him the five meals. This teenage boy like the rest of his cohort is also highly skilled at razing any pantry and fridge within an arms reach.
Apparently there is NO food in there (even when there is). This is because the teenage boy definition of no food, means that no-one has prepared it for him already. Sound familiar?
Whose Job Is It?
In my house, I prepare the snacks and my husband is the lunch king for all three teenagers. Said husband has been hinting both subtly and with a sledgehammer for a few years that the kids should be making their own.
I’ve argued with my Dietitian hat firmly on, that it is VITALLY important that they eat healthy food during the day to focus, concentrate and all the other reasons you can imagine, that a Dietitian might come up with.
My mum made my lunch all the way through school, while my husbands most certainly did not. In my eyes, I was lucky and he just well, wasn’t.
Despite being firmly saddled onto my high horse, I have known deep down for quite a while, that continuing to make snacks and lunches for our kids is not helping them long term. It’s just that so far, the control freak within me has won the argument.
The AHA Moment
With all of the above as context, this week I have had an AHA moment. For the past month or so, I have been reading a very insightful book called ‘He’ll Be Ok’ by Celia Lashlie.
Celia Lashlie wrote this book after years working in the prison service in New Zealand. She also ran the Good Man Project, where she spoke to 180 classes of high school boys, gaining a wealth of insight into what boys need and what parents can do to help them.
‘He’ll Be Ok’ is all about growing gorgeous boys into good men and is particularly useful for mothers of boys. In the book Celia introduces the the concept of the ‘Bridge Of Adolescence’ and the importance of getting mothers off it and fathers on it.
As a mum of a teenage boy, this book can be extremely challenging.
Celia strongly encourages mums of teenage boys in secondary school to stop making their lunches. She quite rightly points out that its a tangible, practical thing that mums (and dads for that matter) can do to begin allowing their teenage boy to learn the link between action and consequence, something he needs to learn as part of his journey to manhood.
How to Let Go?
I’ll be honest, sharing my AHA moment with you today has been uncomfortable. It’s always hard to admit that maybe, just maybe you are not always right.
I do know that being open to learning new things is very important but it often involves great discomfort too. This is all part of a process that results in a better outcome or an improved skill, no matter what you are learning.
The thing is, do I go cold turkey and just leave the kids to it (this will be a very noisy option) or gradually wean them off with a few days here and there until the final reveal?
I feel certain that I am not the only mother of a teenage son (and daughters) making lunches and if you have been there and have some insights – I would love to hear them.
As I write today with a coffee in hand (just a regular instant Moccona), I am remembering the iced coffee of my childhood. Mum made it seem so glamorous when in fact it was just plain milk, a few ice cubes and probably a mere skerrick of actual instant coffee.
This concoction was shaken up in a plastic container that looked like a big cup with a separate lid. Once these two parts were together, the aim was to shake the living daylights out of the contents to produce a blended drink. Does anyone remember these?
Are You My Friend Mr Iced Coffee?
These days, there is no such effort or physical feat required to get yourself an iced coffee. All you need to do is buy it, crack it open and enjoy. No hunting and gathering required.
The thing is, as we have discussed previously on this blog, the flavoured milk market is not only diverse but can also be a veritable nutrition minefield to navigate. There are sugar, fat and calorie potholes to fall into at every turn.
Newish Kid On The Block
A couple of years ago, a new iced coffee brand emerged in Western Australia. Cleverly named Hunt and Brew, they are all about single origin coffee beans from various locations around the world. They have several flavour varieties available and all with no added sugar.You just need to decide which country you would like to travel to.
I love their iced coffee for the amazing flavour and the absence of overpowering sweetness that is often the case with other coffee flavoured milks. These guys put actual coffee into their product too.
Please note that if you drink the full 400ml bottle in one hit, you have just consumed 224mg caffeine. This is equivalent to almost three shots of coffee.
What About The Others?
There are more than three iced coffees on the market but let’s compare three of the most popular.
Masters and Hunt and Brew have the closest nutrient profiles but the purchase sizes do differ. If looking solely from a cost perspective, the larger size in the Masters does appear to be more economical.
Think about those times when you find yourself in the supermarket and as you are rushing around, you notice the SUPER specials located at the end of the aisle. Those half price Tim Tam’s seem like just the ticket right now, despite the fact that you only came into the supermarket to get milk and bread.
It’s exactly the same thing in the iced coffee dilemma – lower price or better for you?
Calling all iced coffee lovers – what would you choose and how do you like yours?
It’s mid morning, mid afternoon or mid something and you are on the road. At some point you might need to fuel the car or perhaps even yourself. Options are limited, especially if you are in the city outskirts or the back of beyond. As you pass the sign for the next service station, you know that this is your chance to stop for a break and to shake your tired body into alertness.
Swinging by the servo during a workday can be the ultimate double-edged sword. Your energy and motivation levels are flagging from being behind the wheel and it seems the easy solution is a fuelling pit stop.
Is Healthy Fast Food Even Possible?
Standing in front of the bain-marie windows that are glistening from steam and oil splashes, it can be very hard to make a healthy choice. A choice that doesn’t supply enough calories for a small country and one that is low in fat and sugar and will fuel your body and brain for long hours on the road or even behind a desk.
This decision becomes even more important if most of your workday involves sitting and burning up very little energy. Some foods at the servo can be deceptively high in fat and/or sugar, which you can see below.
Oh, The Dilemma
I get it. It’s too easy to get paralysis by analysis when having to make a healthy food choice, especially when the options seem limited.
The best scenario of course, is one in which you pack your own meals or snacks for the road. This will not only save you money but also decrease the likelihood of making an unhealthy food choice. However, if you find yourself without reserves on hand, look carefully and there are some healthy fast food options available.
Try these healthy fast food snack ideas:
- 200g tub of low fat yoghurt and a piece of fruit or tub of fruit
- Fruit or cereal based muesli bar
- Snack pack portion of dried fruit and nuts
- Tub or tin of fruit
- Snack pack of cracker biscuits with individual portion of cheese
If you are looking for something a little more substantial:
- Ham/chicken/egg and salad sandwich, roll or wrap (wholegrain or wholemeal if possible)
- Toasted sandwich (unbuttered) with ham and cheese
- Poached eggs on wholemeal/grain toast (unbuttered)
- Tin of salt reduced spaghetti or baked beans
- Small portion of stir-fried meat/chicken and vegetables with noodles or steamed rice
A back-up plan can be your saviour for long days on the road, so think about keeping some provisions like water, trail mix, long life reduced flavoured milk, fruit or cereal based muesli bars on hand in the car – just in case.
When you pull over at the servo, don’t forget to take a moment to make your best fast food choice and be rewarded by an increase in energy and not in weight.
If the servo is not your problem but other chains are, you can check out the best and worst ones here.
Fun-runner, weekend warrior, fitness freak or a competitive athlete, it can be tough work juggling your day job and fitting in exercise, plus family and social commitments. Sometimes there simply doesn’t seem to be enough energy in your body (or hours in the day) to do all the things you need to do. Sigh.
If you exercise regularly I’m betting you know the feeling of running on empty and not knowing how to give your body the energy it’s so desperately craving.
There is no doubt that you perform better when you make the effort to choose healthy food for fuelling up before, during and after your workout. The reality is, most of us are not professional athletes and need to structure our exercise routine around our working day and ensure both our bodies and brains are functioning on full energy.
Fuelling Up Before Your Workout
Your exercise sessions might be before, during or after work. It doesn’t really matter which it is because eating a meal or snack before exercise will give you the opportunity to top up your carbohydrate (glycogen) stores in the muscles and liver and therefore the energy to workout harder and longer. Ideally a meal should be consumed 3-4 hours before exercise and a snack 1-2 hours before exercise. This gives your body time to digest and absorb the food before your training session starts. You don’t want your digestive system busy during your training session when your body needs to be focusing on delivering energy to your muscles.
The pre-exercise meal or snack should provide carbohydrate, which is the key fuel source for muscles during exercise. Beginning a training session with no fuel and low carbohydrate stores will inevitable lead to fatigue and reduced endurance, intensity and stamina.
Foods eaten before exercise should contain carbohydrate, be low in fat and contain moderate amounts of fibre to make digestion easier and avoid stomach upset. Fluid is also an important factor in preparing for a training session. If you don’t eat a pre-exercise snack, you are basically asking your body to perform without petrol and quite frankly, no one wants to see that mess.
For those who find it hard to eat before exercise, start with something small until your stomach gets used to it.
Some ideas for pre-training meals and snacks include:
Pre-Training Meals (3-4 hours before your workout)
- Fruit toast with ricotta and banana
- Baked potato with corn and cheese
- Baked beans or spaghetti on toast
- Breakfast cereal with milk
- Sandwich with meat and salad filling
- Fruit salad or berries with yoghurt
- Pasta or rice with a low fat sauce
- Pita bread wrap with tuna and salad
Pre-Training Snacks (1-2 hours before your workout)
- Fresh fruit
- Canned fruit
- Tub of yoghurt
- Cereal/muesli bar
- Flavoured milk
- Fruit bun or scone
- Breakfast drink
What About After Your Workout?
A common complaint of many is fatigue and inability to recover when exercising regularly. Quite often this is a result of poor recovery practices and insufficient carbohydrate. It is super important to replenish carbohydrate stores immediately after a training session.
Timing is everything and ideally this snack should be within 15-30 minutes of finishing the session. It is very easy to waste time after training, talking to friends, gathering belongings or just generally faffing about. Keep an eye on your watch or set the timer to remind you. Aim for 50g carbohydrate within the 15-30 minute window and then follow-up with something more substantial.
After hard exercise the recovery of glycogen is a relatively slow process and normally takes 24 hours. If adequate dietary carbohydrate is not consumed following exercise, recovery can take up to 7-10 days. Who has time for this?
Many people exercise every day and if the diet does not contain adequate carbohydrate, muscle glycogen will not recover between training sessions.
Protein is also very useful and essential for recovery – sports nutrition experts recommend 10-20g of protein alongside the 50g carbohydrate.
Try some of these snacks after your workout to assist your recovery:
- 1 high fibre muesli bar plus 1 piece of fresh fruit
- ½ cup of creamed rice and ½ cup tinned fruit
- 1 cup low fat milk plus 1 banana
- 4 heaped tablespoons skim milk powder mixed with 250ml low fat milk
- Protein Bar
- 1 slice of wholegrain toast with 1 egg or 95g tuna in brine/spring water
- 1 x wholemeal English muffin with peanut butter and sliced banana
When you’re pushing your body whilst exercising and then your brain at work, the smallest things can have a massive impact: eating too much or too little, not getting enough of the right nutrients, not allowing your body enough time to recover. Go to it and start fuelling up with the right food at the right time.
Want more? Head over to Sports Dietitians Australia for some fabulous free fact sheets on many sports.
One of the food related activities that I did over the quarantine break was grow broccoli sprouts.
I loved growing them as a kid and watching those little leaves come to life overnight. They are also rather wonderful for short attention spans as they take only a few days to grow. This makes them perfect for kids too.
We know that all vegetables are super healthy but there is one group that experts believe contribute significantly to overall health due to their unique nutrition content. This is the Brassica family aka cruciferous vegetables. The peeps in this vegetable family include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, radish, watercress and bok choy.
The compound that makes these particular group of vegetables important is called Sulphoraphane. Try saying that quickly ten times.
What’s So Good About Sulforaphane?
For insects, it’s not good – it can kill them. Sulforaphane acts like an insecticide and that’s why the cruciferous vegetables produce it. The sulforaphane is designed to make it less appealing to predators.
Clearly not less appealing to the white moths that love spending time on our broccoli plants.
Good news for us humans though – sulforaphane is the food equivalent of a black belt in martial arts and has been shown to help:
- Reduce inflammation
- Protect against heart disease
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve brain function
- Slow ageing and prevent against cancer
What About Broccoli Sprouts?
Boiling or microwaving broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables dramatically reduces the concentration of sulforaphane and therefore the health benefits. Just ensure that whatever your process of cooking broccoli is, make it snappy.
Broccoli sprouts have more than ten times the sulforaphane of broccoli. Based on this fact, it makes sense to mix up your usual intake of Brassica vegetables with some raw sprouts that are full of the powerful sulphoraphane.
How Do We Grow these Sprouts?
Either way, I find that my sprouts are all done and ready to eat within four days.
When broccoli seeds start to do their thing and germinate, tiny plants called sprouts grow from the seeds. You can buy these seeds from health food stores or you can harvest the seeds from broccoli plants that have gone to seed.
These sprouts have a similar appearance to alfalfa sprouts and taste a lot like radish. Broccoli sprouts are packed full of Vitamin C, antioxidants and of course, the mighty sulphoraphane. They are a delicious addition in a salad or scattered on top of a poached egg.
Would love to hear about your sprouting efforts!