Five reasons to go nuts for almonds

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As today is National Almond Day (no, I never knew it existed either!) – here are five fabulous health reasons why these tree nuts are bursting with good-for-you-ness.

1. Almonds are a great natural source of protein and fibre. They’re also high in essential nutrients including vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

2. Celebrity almond fans include Elle Macpherson, Lisa Snowden, Karren Brady and Gary Barlow who enjoy a handful every day. Rumour has it that Mr Barlow insisted his X Factor contestants incorporated daily snacking on almonds as part of their strict diet.

3. Omega 3 fatty acids are natural providers of good skin health. Though oily fish is often cited as the best source, did you know, flaxseeds and almonds are also excellent vegetarian-friendly sources?

4. Along with dates, almonds are believed to be among the earliest cultivated foods, with both getting a mention in the Old Testament of the Bible.

5. In India, almonds are considered a prized brain food for children.

“When you snack on almonds, you can feel satisfied knowing that you’re eating something you love which is also providing you with the nutrients you need,” says dietician, Kimberly Haider. “That’s positive news on National Almond Day and every day.”

Visit Almond Board for more information including smart snacking tips from Karren Brady, snack suggestions and almond recipes.

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Get healthy: The eat well factor

 

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As part of her role as a mentor on The X Factor, Kelly Rowland brings with her a huge breadth of experience in the music industry and knows all too well that success is not all down to vocal talent, looking good is also key. The superfit star, who leads a focused healthy lifestyle, wants to help her acts look and feel their best by giving advice on nutrition and introducing a strict diet and exercise plan.

By the time the live shows roll around next month, the star wants her acts to be in the best possible shape, mentally and physically, and to help this happen, all fast food is banned. Kelly will be keeping a close eye on them to ensure no naughty snacking takes place.

For advice on how to get your food balance right, the Eatwell Plate is a great at-a-glance guide that shows how much of what you eat should come from each food group. It is suitable for most people – whether healthy, overweight, meat eaters or vegetarian, regardless of ethnic origin. It does not apply, however, to young children as they have different nutritional needs.

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The British Dietetic Association, have very kindly offered Ms Rowland the services of a dietitian to help advise her acts on healthy eating that will give them the nutrition and energy they need to make it through the live shows.

For the rest of us, here is some very helpful advice from Sian Burton, spokesperson for the BDA: “Eating a variety of foods can help you manage your weight, improve general wellbeing and reduce the risk of conditions including: heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes and osteoporosis. All you need to do is eat sensibly, choose a range of foods in the correct proportions and have a variety of foods and fluids.”

Gizzi Erskine Q&A (celeb health)

Rather than endlessly telling you what I’m working on – I thought I’d share some of the features I have already written starting today. So, hopefully (if I have done this right!) above you should find my chat with the very lovely and inspiring Gizzi Erskine…

Good to know

Thought I’d write a little follow-up on the celebrity health Q&A piece I’m currently working on for Your Healthy Living. I think many of us, myself included, are under the illusion that celebrities have it easy when it comes to keeping in shape and being healthy takes little to no effort at all. When speaking with Gizzi, it was very refreshing to hear that she goes through phases of feeling healthy and though she currently rates herself as an 8.5 out of 10, this is not always the case as she goes through six month phases where she exercises more depending on the seasons. Gizzi often tops up her diet with vitamins and supplements, was happy to admit like all women she has times where she thinks ‘sod it’ and has a little of what she fancies and revealed because she loves food so much she has learnt to eat well to maintain a healthy weight.

There’s a lot I could learn from Gizzi’s ethos on indulging occasionally only – I allow myself on most days a daily indulgence of something naughty – usually a packet of crisps – which is a terribly unhealthy yet yummy fatty salty treat- and actually think there is a slight addiction on the crisp front as I often crave a packet. Any hypnotists out there that can help – do please contact me. I adore eating fruit and vegetables and being vegetarian I do eat well most of the time, but crisps are a major black spot in my diet. Must do better…