SUGAR-FREE, ANTIOXIDANT-RICH SANGRIA

On those special occasions when you want to enjoy a more healthy celebratory drink, sangria provides a fun and fruity alcoholic beverage based on red wine, which is rich in antioxidants. With homemade sangria you can also avoid added sugar, as the fresh orange juice and fruits are generally enough to provide sweetness.

Ingredients

1 bottle of organic, fruity red wine

Juice of one organic orange

5 organic strawberries, rinsed and sliced thinly

1/2 cup of fresh blueberries

Squeeze of lemon

1 cinnamon stick

6 ice cubes

Extra orange and lemon slices

1. Add all ingredients in a large glass jug and place in the fridge for one to two hours.

2. Give the jug a gentle stir, pour into wine glasses with a few pieces of fruit in each and enjoy!

POMEGRANATE POWER: THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE

During a hike in the rainforest this weekend, we spotted these jumbo-sized red balls hanging from a tree and were ecstatic to discover they were actually enormous pomegranates! I’ve never seen them growing before and couldn’t help but pluck one off and take it home to try.

The best part about pomegranates is that they are absolutely loaded with nutrients, especially antioxidants – those beautiful life-saving molecules that protect our cells from damage and disease. Pomegranates are a particularly good source of vitamin C, which is important for immunity, skin health even detoxification.

It made the most beautiful breakfast this morning simply topped over natural yoghurt with cinnamon. Juicy, sweet, crunchy and creamy, with no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners in sight.  Delicious taste and pure nutrition all from a little (or in this case big) ball on a tree – the best things in life really are free!

HOW TO CHOOSE A FISH OIL SUPPLEMENT: THE FIVE ESSENTIALS

Thinking about buying a fish oil supplement but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, today I’m going to fill you in on everything you need to know before you step foot in to a pharmacy.

Firstly, congratulations on realising how important fish oil  is for your body! If you’re buying a supplement, you’re probably aware of omega-3 essential fatty acids (in fish oil) and their miraculous health benefits. If you haven’t yet heard, omega-3 fats can do just about everything but cartwheels. From reducing depression and dementia to preventing heart disease, joint pain and inflammatory skin conditions, omega-3 fats are a one stop shop. While I generally try to stick to whole foods rather than supplements, there are certain nutrients that the body requires in high amounts in order to be therapeutic and omega-3 is one of these.

So, back to your expedition to the pharmacy. Here’s what you need to tick off before you buy a fish oil supplement:

1. Purity

This is pretty important. Nearly all fish are contaminated with mercury so look for a brand that has been tested for heavy metals and has stringent filtering processes.

2. Source

Ideally, a fish oil sourced from small fish ensures lower mercury (small fish have lower mercury than larger fish). If the oil is from salmon, make sure the label specifies that the salmon is wild caught.

3. Antioxidants

Fish oil is a fragile fat and can easily be damaged by heat, light and air. For this reason, good quality fish oils will always include an antioxidant such as vitamin E to ensure the stability of the oil (this prevents you from consuming rancid oil!).

4. Dose

Just because it says a whopping 1 or 2 grams of fish oil per serve doesn’t mean anything unless the EPA and DHA content are high. EPA and DHA are the therapeutic components that create all the health benefits. They will usually be higher (per serve) in liquid forms of fish oil than capsules, but if you can’t stomach the liquid that’s okay as long as you don’t mind popping down a few capsules each day. The higher the EPA/DHA, the less capsules you need to take.

5. Coating

If you’re choosing capsules over oil, enteric coating of the tablet ensures you won’t get any fishy aftertaste or burping. Enteric coating isn’t essential, but if you’re prone to nausea it’s a probably a good idea

If you keep these five factors in mind when choosing a fish oil supplement you’re off to a good start. You may not be able to tick them all off depending on your local variety and supply but at least you know what to look out for. Every condition requires a different dosage of fish oil so speak to your health care practitioner for exact dosing. Happy fishing!